This blog was written by Ravens running back Justin Forsett and was originally posted on SportsBlog.
Monday in Baltimore was an ugly time. We were seeing destruction, buildings burning down, kids having altercations with police officers, people getting injured. You see that and your heart is hurting. As a player living in this city, I'm tied to this community now. It's a special place for me for more reasons than just football. These are the people who support our team, who love to watch us play. To see the city going through this … it's tough to watch.
There were people hurting and lashing out on Monday. For some of those people, they felt like they've been unheard for so long and things were boiling over, and they took those moments to show their frustration. And then there were some people who were acting out just because; acting out that had nothing to do with Freddie Gray or their frustration.
The hurt that people have been experiencing is not an overnight thing. This is something that has been happening for a while, and now it's boiling over. And unfortunately, it's not just a Baltimore thing either; it's a nationwide thing. There are a lot of unheard voices out there and people seeking justice. I think that a change needs to be made and hopefully we can get it done the right way.
Today [Wednesday] I am seeing peaceful protests. We're seeing people come together to try and help rebuild some of what took place on Monday. You are seeing people come to the city and unite. It's a tight-knit, hardworking city here in Baltimore, and the majority of the people here want to help, want to show love, want to be heard. It's been great to watch TV today [Wednesday] and see the good that people are doing, the positive stuff. And I'm just praying that it continues.
The Ravens facility is in Owings Mill, about 20 minutes from Baltimore, and I've been working out here since I got back from California last week. Yesterday we were alerted that there could be some protests happening close by at our local mall. There were police lined up alongside the road as I was driving home. Nothing happened, but seeing that … it was really eye opening. It was like, man, this is real; this is really close to home.
And the fact that the Orioles game was played Wednesday with nobody in the stands was even more eye opening. It gives you a clear view of how serious the situation is. The Ravens cancelled our draft party on Thursday. They are trying to keep everyone safe and don't want to cause any extra risk to fans coming out. It's a serious situation and needs to be handled as such. But I do feel badly for the people in the community who love to come out and support the local sports teams. But what's happening right now is much bigger than sports. People need to be safe. Hopefully everything gets back on track here soon.
I'm a little worried about what will happen on Friday when the police conclude their investigations. No matter the outcome, I pray that we continue to unite and stand together as a community to try to cultivate change. Through history we've seen that violence has never been the answer. Hopefully we can unite and create change in a way that's peaceful. Baltimore is my home now. I love this city, I love this community and I want nothing but the best for it. I stand with the community, and I'm also here to serve it. I'll be finding a way to go out and lend an ear or whatever it is I need to do in order to help this community and be a real part of positive change.