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Rams’ Sebastian Joseph-Day, horrified by what he saw, speaks out over police shooting

Rams defensive tackle Sebastian Joseph-Day stretches during a practice session.
Rams defensive tackle Sebastian Joseph-Day was affected by the shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin.
(John Bazemore / Associated Press)

Before answering questions from reporters Tuesday, Rams defensive tackle Sebastian Joseph-Day began a videoconference by saying he wanted to send prayers to Jacob Blake and his family.

Blake was shot multiple times in the back Sunday by a police in Kenosha, Wis. Blake is hospitalized and paralyzed, although it’s not known whether the paralysis is permanent.

“I don’t know if y’all saw the video, it was real horrific,” Joseph-Day said. “I just want to send my thoughts and prayers to him and his family, his kids. For kids to see that, that’s definitely going to influence them in a negative way growing up. So I just want to start by saying that.”

Joseph-Day, a third-year pro, was active in social justice causes and other issues throughout the offseason.

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In April, as the coronavirus outbreak gained momentum, he donated $10,000 to help fund 250 meals for Cedars-Sinai Medical Center workers and their families. In July, he teamed with the I Have a Dream foundation and purchased computers and internet hot spots for students in Watts.

Joseph-Day also published an opinion piece through the Players Coalition that addressed “systemic oppression” and advocated for “fair and equal education for low-income, black and brown communities,” he wrote.

SoFi Stadium will open without fans at Rams and Chargers games because of the pandemic.

“I’m just doing what should be done,” Joseph-Day said. “Just using my platform for what should be done.”

Joseph-Day, 25, is part of a defensive line that features tackle Aaron Donald, a two-time NFL defensive player of the year, and veteran Michael Brockers, among others.

Joseph-Day, a sixth-round draft pick from Rutgers in 2018, was not active for any games as a rookie but last season started 15 games. Now he is part of a defense under the direction of first-year coordinator Brandon Staley, who replaced Wade Phillips.

The Rams are preparing for their Sept. 13 opener against the Dallas Cowboys at SoFi Stadium. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Rams announced Tuesday that no fans would be allowed in the stadium “until further notice.”

Running back Darrell Henderson is dealing with a hamstring injury that could change the Rams’ plans for a committee approach to the run game.

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Joseph-Day did not sound like a player who might fall prey to complacency.

“Listen man, like, I’m a sixth-round pick from Rutgers University, you know?” he said. “A lot of people didn’t think I was going to be here, so that’s all the motivation that I have each and every day, to get me ready to go play a game.”

Joseph-Day said he has benefited from playing alongside Donald — “the best player in the league” — and Brockers, a ninth-year pro.

“Our team is loaded with amazing players, so that’s all the motivation that I really need from my brothers and just going out there and just riding out for them,” he said. “That’s all the motivation that I need, to be honest.”

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Etc.

The Rams waived quarterback Bryce Love and linebacker Bryan London, and signed linebackers Daniel Bituli and Derrick Moncrief, the team announced. ... Cornerback Jalen Ramsey made the play of the day when he intercepted a pass by quarterback Jared Goff while covering rookie receiver Van Jefferson during an end zone drill. After coming down with the ball, Ramsey raced up the sideline toward the the opposite end zone. Receiver Cooper Kupp eventually chased him down before Ramsey tossed the ball to Donald. ... Goff connected with receiver Robert Woods for a touchdown during full-team drills. Safety Nick Scott and cornerback Tyrique McGhee intercepted passes by backup quarterback John Wolford. ... Coach Sean McVay provided no update on running back Darrell Henderson, who suffered a hamstring injury during a practice Saturday at SoFi Stadium.


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