Former Bears running back Matt Forte called out Brian Urlacher on Thursday night after the Hall of Fame linebacker shared a social media post criticizing NBA players for boycotting playoff games in protest of the Jacob Blake shooting in Kenosha, Wis.
Urlacher’s Instagram story featured text comparing longtime Packers quarterback Brett Favre taking the field after the death of his father to NBA players refusing to play in order to demand accountability and action in their ongoing fight against racial injustice and police brutality.
“Brett Favre played the MNF game the day his dad died, threw 4 TDs in the first half, and was a legend for playing in the face of adversity,” the post read. “NBA players boycott the playoffs because a dude reaching for a knife, wanted on a felony sexual assault warrant, was shot by police.”
A video released Sunday night showed Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, being shot multiple times in the back by police officers as he attempted to get into his SUV. Blake’s three children, ages 3, 5 and 8, were reportedly inside the vehicle. Blake family attorney Ben Crump said Blake is paralyzed and it would “take a miracle” for him to walk again.
Blake had an active arrest warrant for third-degree sexual assault, according to Politifact, though it is unclear if the police offers knew anything about Blake’s background. The Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation said Blake admitted to having a knife inside his SUV. Crump said Blake did “nothing to provoke police,” adding that witnesses confirmed Blake “was not in possession of a knife and didn’t threaten officers in any way.”
Forte, who played with Urlacher in Chicago from 2008-12, had a sharp response for Urlacher and all those who continually “refuse to acknowledge racism and injustice.”
“The comment [Urlacher] posted is void of empathy, compassion, wisdom and coherence. But full of pride and ignorance!” Forte tweeted. “I pray for those who have been blinded by their wealth, privilege and earthly fame that breeds arrogance in their hearts. And those who refuse to acknowledge racism and injustice but instead choose to place their energy into justifying it by quickly judging the victims [sic] life as if they themselves are more valuable because their sins are different or weren’t caught by man… but God sees all.”
Urlacher also appeared to like a photo on Instagram calling for the release of Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old who has been charged with first-degree intentional homicide after he allegedly shot three people, killing two, during protests in Kenosha.
The Bears released a statement Thursday distancing themselves from Urlacher, one of the most accomplished players in franchise history.
“The social media posts in no way reflect the values or opinions of the Chicago Bears organization,” the team said in the statement (via NBC Sports Chicago).
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