LaFleur Media Availability - That’s What Cheese Said

Head Coach Matt LaFleur spoke with the media on Friday, June 5 to talk about social justice and the upcoming Packers training camp. 

Head Coach Matt LaFleur met with the media this past Friday to discuss the team’s offseason program and the conversations that have been taking place as a team with everything going on in the country these last few weeks. 

When asked how the “Enough is Enough” video came about from the franchise, LaFleur mentioned that the leadership team got together to figure out how they wanted to respond, and that’s where they decided on a video as opposed to a team statement. LaFleur was also quick to praise quarterback Aaron Rodgers for his contributions to the project. 

“Aaron Rodgers kind of took the bull by the horns and wrote a specific piece that we would all say at the beginning and at the end, and then everybody in the middle of it kind of put their own story,” said LaFleur. “And so there was a lot of meaning behind it. I was really proud of our guys. I thought it was exceptionally well done.

“I thought the video was extremely powerful.”

LaFleur added that these last few weeks, there have been a number of impactful conversations happening with players, coaches, and friends alike. 

“There’s a lot of powerful words and stories that our players told, and I think this is such a great opportunity for all of us, coaches, players, everybody in society, to listen. To listen to our Black community and just, some of the struggles that they’ve dealt with for years and years and years,” he said. “And what a great opportunity to be really aware of what’s going on and really a great opportunity to make significant changes.”

During his presser, LaFleur reiterated that while words matter, actions are what counts. These last few weeks he’s spent time with players and coaches listening to their lived experiences, “trying to come up with ways to not only talk about it, but to be about it and to create those changes that are needed in society.”

“There’s a lot of guys that are really hurting right now, and they’ve been hurting for years,” LaFleur said of the conversations he’s had with players. “Unfortunately, we as a society haven’t been listening.”

LaFleur added that a big push from the team has been to ensure players are involved in the voting process, so they got anyone who wasn’t registered setup to vote in the upcoming election. He noted that given the presidential election falls in the middle of the NFL season, making sure players knew how to get absentee ballots was also important. 

“We have such an incredible platform, specifically in the National Football League. A lot of people listen and they look up to our players,” LaFleur said. “I’m just hopeful that the rest of society will listen to our players and be as invested as these guys are in this process.”

When asked if he would support players kneeling this upcoming season, LaFleur said he supports anything his players want to do that’s peaceful, but the team hasn’t had any discussions on that topic as of yet. 

“I think everybody needs to take a good hard look in the mirror and see what can you do better to help make it equal for everyone,” LaFleur said. “I feel like in my heart, and I told this to the team, I don’t know what it’s like to be a Black man living in America. And I don’t try to pretend to know. But what I do try to do is listen, show empathy. And I told the guys, I’m all in for whatever needs to be done to end racism, to end social injustice, to end the police brutality."

While most of LaFleur’s conference did center around the topic of social injustice, with LaFleur noting that some things are bigger than football, he did take some time to talk about the upcoming training camp, assuming all goes according to plan and the NFL remains on schedule. 

“Actually, I am in Lambeau which is a really good feeling,” LaFleur said when asked about the NFL allowing teams to return to their buildings. 

Right now, it’s optional for the coaching staff to return to the stadium. Some coaches have been trickling in throughout the week while others remain working remotely. LaFleur even joked that someone on staff just recently had a baby, so that staff member is the only person with strict orders to not return back to Lambeau for the time being. 

When asked how the players acclimated to the virtual program, LaFleur said he was pleased with the progress his team has made despite the unusual circumstances. 

“Our guys have done a good job and I think our player participation has been 100%,” he said. “I’m really excited to see, when we finally get these guys back in the building, how much they’ve retained from this. It’s afforded our guys a good opportunity to take the learning at their own pace.”

He added that most of the team’s study is done on tablets, so the players are able to watch their individual cut-ups and learn at their own pace. The technology has afforded them the ability to slow their learning and really take a hard look at their own assignments. 

LaFleur praised his coaching staff for their efforts throughout the virtual offseason, adding that everyone has done a great job keeping things creative to avoid the meetings becoming monotonous. 

With a virtual offseason taking place, the question was asked how training camp could be different this year, or if LaFleur expects there to be any additional challenges when everyone is finally able to come back together. 

“Fortunately, I was in the NFL during the lockout year so that kind of gives you a little perspective of what needs to be done, but it’s one of those things you really don’t know until you get the guys back,” LaFleur said. 

He added that the team already was such a close-knit group last season that it’s benefitted them during the offseason program. 

“I thought we had a really connected team last year, but I know I don’t want to rest on that. It’s been tough having everybody separated this offseason, LaFleur said. “I’m looking forward to the day that we can all get back together and work on everything from football to the progress that we need to make as a society.”

Even though coaches are returning to team facilities, LaFleur knows the team has to be fluid and flexible in regards to training camp and whatever could come up during that time. He also is aware of what a lack of rookie minicamp this season could do for his young players. 

“Provided training camp starts on time, you’re allowed to bring the rookies in a week early,” LaFleur said. “That’s something that we’ll certainly do to try to get them acclimated, to introduce them to some of the stuff that we want them to do on the field.”

While LaFleur knows there’s a lot of work to be done, both as a country and specifically with his football team, he’s hopeful on both counts. 

“One thing I love about the game of football, sports, is you get a lot of people from different backgrounds, different religions, different beliefs, different experiences, and we all come together,” said LaFleur. “And we come together with one common goal. I think it’s just a microcosm of the world and how we need to become one. We need to become united in order to make this place as good of a place as it can be.

“I am hopeful and excited for the future. I think that there’s a chance to make significant change in this country. I just want to be a part of that process.”

 

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Maggie Loney is a writer for Cheesehead TV, podcaster for the Pack-A-Day Podcast and Pack's What She Said, and hosts a weekly live show called Happy Hour through Game On Wisconsin. Find her on Twitter at @MaggieJLoney.

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Comments (8)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
fordguy's picture

June 09, 2020 at 01:21 pm

I think at this point CGTV won't let this go and is liking the comment numbers or views. To keep the fans arguing must be good for their metrix somehow. We're all in agreement that Floyd's death was wrong and never should have happened.

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flackcatcher's picture

June 09, 2020 at 05:01 pm

Oh I'm sure Al has already had a friendly talk or text about the CHTV mission with the writers, video bloggers etc. (while holding the cluebat just out of view... :-)

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PackerAaron's picture

June 10, 2020 at 06:54 am

Yes, our agenda is to cover what the head coach of the Green Bay Packers talked about during his latest availability. You've cracked the code. Well done.

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Johnblood27's picture

June 10, 2020 at 09:46 am

Nice contribution, worthless as usual.

Step up or step off nags.

You act like you are all that and you toss out comments like this and drink beer while performing your very short duties for CHTV?

I expect better and do not get it from you.

The other contributors at CHTV deliver regularly.

Make a note Al, this is one strong down-vote for nags.

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splitpea1's picture

June 09, 2020 at 05:41 pm

Oh, goody gumdrops: more "conversations!" Round and round we go, when it stops, nobody knows.

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Pizzadoc's picture

June 09, 2020 at 07:12 pm

Conversation is all we have besides violence.

Paraphrased from Sam Harris

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splitpea1's picture

June 09, 2020 at 07:55 pm

Do you let atheists do all of your thinking for you?

"Everybody just shut up and play football...and don't forget to stand for the anthem!" --splitpea1

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edp1959's picture

June 10, 2020 at 05:40 am

Spot on 100%.

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