Devin McCourty has spent the last several days deep in thought about the shooting of Jacob Blake by police in Wisconsin.

The Patriots’ safety has watched the video of the Black man being shot seven times in the back by an officer in Kenosha while his three children were in the car.

He has been thinking about other similar recent incidents that have occurred in the United States and has been looking for answers.

But when the 33-year-old McCourty met the media in a video conference Thursday, it was obvious that he is struggling with what is going on.

“I’ve felt very hopeless,” said McCourty.

The Patriots’ captain, who has been with the team since 2010, has been a leader through the years and has done a lot of work in the community.


But the shooting of Blake, who is now paralyzed, last Sunday has shaken McCourty, which came through loud and clear during his nearly 20-minute meeting with the media.

“It’s just been very disheartening just watching things transpire, watching lives still be lost,” said McCourty. “It’s not just police brutality. It’s just everything we deal with.

“Like today, I’m going to come here and you guys are going to ask me questions and it’s going to be about my opinion on different things, but I just feel like overall, until people turn on different things and watch it and we all have that same outlook like, ‘Man, what is going on? This is heartbreaking, this is terrible.’ It just doesn’t matter. I just felt very hopeless the last couple of days.”

McCourty has been thinking a lot about his children, 3-year-old daughter Londyn and 2-year-old son Brayden.

McCourty recalled having his mother, Phyllis Harrell, offer words of caution when he was growing up and how those same words will now be delivered to his own children.

“Last night I sat there and looked at my kids,” said McCourty, “and the only thing I could think about was I have to tell my kids what my mom taught me as I became a teenager about how to handle being pulled over by a cop.


“How to conduct myself, what clothes to wear so that when I went somewhere, people would think I had an education and didn’t think I didn’t know how to speak correctly or that I was intimidating or a threat to them.

“Those are the conversations my mom had with me as a teenager. I looked at my kids and I was like, I’ll have to tell my son to act a certain way so people don’t think he’s a threat so he’ll always be able to come home. I’ll have to tell my daughter the same thing.

“That just broke my heart last night because I know my mom’s mom told her that and my grandmother’s mother told her that. Dating back hundreds of years, that has been an ongoing conversation in Black households. Eventually I have to have that conversation.”

While NBA players boycotted playoff games Wednesday and some Major League Baseball games were postponed and NFL teams canceled practice, McCourty said he hasn’t thought about doing anything as a team in protest.

The situation has been weighing too heavily on his mind to be able to come up with a plan.

“As an individual, I haven’t been able to come to grips with anything, let alone try to be a voice to guys and say we should or shouldn’t do,” said McCourty. “I don’t have that answer. I’ve been trying to handle things from an individual standpoint of trying to understand.


“It’s been hard for me individually to try to say we should do this and we should do that. I’ve been a guy who says, ‘This is important, guys. Come on, let’s do this.’ Right now, I don’t know if I tell a young rookie we don’t need to practice. I don’t have that answer. I don’t want to do something just to do it because everybody else is doing it. I’m still searching for that.”

McCourty said he worries that if change does not come, then people will become “numb” to events like the one that happened in Wisconsin and the George Floyd incident in Minnesota last spring.

“I think of the football term that every coach has said to me: If you’re not getting better, you’re getting worse,” said McCourty. “The more we see all of these tragic events happen, you become numb to it.

“I saw the video (of Blake) and I was like, dang, well, what did he do? This isn’t a movie or a video game. You’re watching real life. You’re watching a (white) kid walk around (Kenosha), a 17-year-old kid walking around with a deadly rifle (during the protests).

“If things don’t get better, yeah, they will get worse. As those things keep happening, you get numb to it and it becomes the norm. That’s my biggest fear that someday this continues to just happen and people get tired of yelling from balconies or going and making statements or trying to help and it just becomes normalized.”

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