Bears

Matt Forte calls for police accountability at peaceful Chicago protest

Matt Forte calls for police accountability at peaceful Chicago protest

Matt Forte has joined the ranks of Chicago activists advocating for police reform across the United States.

Forte spoke at an interfaith rally in Washington Park on Tuesday night, following a march with protestors down Martin Luther King Drive in Bronzeville.

Evan Garcia, a journalist for WTTW, posted part of Forte’s speech on Twitter.

In his speech, Forte called for stricter punishments for bad cops by using a comparison to the NFL.

“In the world of NFL football, accountability is the key to victory,” Forte said. “Accountability is the key to victory. So what we want, what we want is for the police to be accountable. We want the police to be accountable for their actions.

“With accountability comes real consequences. There’s no way someone should be shot 16 times, and get six years in prison-- three years on good behavior.”

But rather than speaking entirely in ideals, Forte offered a suggestion for how to increase accountability for police, too.

“So if accountability is the key to victory, we need real tangible things. We need the ‘CR’ (complaint register), that’s complaints that follow the police from precinct to precinct. You can’t just go from precinct to precinct with a record 18 complaints long."

Wednesday morning, Forte elaborated on how to implement and use that complaint register.

Forte told NBC Sports Chicago that what's needed is, "first, a federal database, nationwide, of the CR for officers that follow them. Second, a higher standard of accountability on officers. Officers with multiple (three strikes are you're out) complaints get taken off the streets, or fired, depending on the nature of the complaint. Third, harsher consequences and higher conviction rates for neglect and/or violent police. I.e. George Floyd, shooting unarmed people, or shooting a kid 16 times and getting six years-- three on good behavior."

The example Forte used about "shooting a kid 16 times and getting six years-- three on good behavior" refers to the sentence former cop Jason Van Dyke received for killing 17-year-old Laquan McDonald in 2014.

“We need change,” Forte said.


RELATED: Mitchell Trubisky breaks social media silence to support George Floyd protests

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Trey Lance to the Bears? This 2021 mock draft thinks so

Trey Lance to the Bears? This 2021 mock draft thinks so

Barring some kind of career-year from Mitch Trubisky or Nick Foles, the 2021 NFL Draft will likely center around quarterback for the Chicago Bears. And while that's not necessarily good news for Bears fans, it could be worse. Next year's draft class will have a handful of quality quarterbacks with first-round grades.

In the latest mock draft from The Draft Wire, the Bears spend their first-round pick on North Dakota State darling, Trey Lance. The FCS standout is the apple of Draft Twitter's eye during the first wave of summer scouting, with some respected draft analysts like The Athletic's Dane Brugler ranking him ahead of Ohio State star, Justin Fields.

The Bears use the 12th overall pick in this mock on Lance. By the time April rolls around, and assuming Lance stacks another productive season on top of his remarkable 2019 performance, it's unlikely he'll be around outside the top 10.

Lance threw for 2,786 yards, 28 touchdowns and a remarkable ZERO interceptions in his first full season starting for the Bison. But that's not all; he ran for 1,100 yards and 14 touchdowns, too.

At an estimated 6-3 and 224 pounds, Lance checks all the early boxes for a franchise quarterback prospect. If he does end up leapfrogging Fields for QB2, he'll be a top-five pick.

But here's the catch: we just don't know enough about him yet. His 2019 season was fantastic, but it's the only one he has on film. And it was against FCS competition, which makes his projection to the NFL more difficult. It's a slippery slope to use Carson Wentz as an example to support Lance's ability to make the jump to the pros. Players like Wentz are the exception; they're few and far between.

It's only July, and the mock draft landscape will change multiple times between now and April. But if Trubisky and Foles fail to deliver in 2020, all mock drafts will have the Bears picking a quarterback. The only question is how high will the Bears be picking in Round 1, and which quarterback (if any) falls to their selection.

Cody Whitehair says he's excited to begin training camp at center

Cody Whitehair says he's excited to begin training camp at center

Cody Whitehair is comfortable and excited about playing center in 2020, a position that isn't new for him but also wasn't deemed his full-time home until midway through last season.

With 2020 training camp scheduled to begin in two weeks, Whitehair is feeling good about his season outlook now that he's back to being the quarterback of the offensive line.

"That's where I feel the most comfortable," Whitehair said on Bears All-Access. "Obviously I'm a team guy and I'll do whatever they ask me to do. If it happens to be where they need me to play a different position, whether that be July 28 when we come in the building or, you know, whenever that may be, you know I'm always down for it."

Whitehair has always been a team-first guy since joining the Bears as a second-round pick in 2016. The former collegiate tackle began his career at center before flipping to guard and then back to center last season. He played 561 snaps at center and 508 at left guard in 2019.

"But you know just being comfortable at that position and being played there for as long as I have in the NFL it's really exciting to be able to be there to start the season again," Whitehair said.

Whitehair will be counted on to keep the offensive line in sync and on task, especially in the run game.

"You want your offense to be able to count on that run and especially in obvious situations," Whitehair said. "You know, that's where an offensive lineman has really got to be, you know, at his best whether that be obvious pass or obvious run.

"So it's something we take pride in and in the run game everything starts up there upfront and making sure we can get a hole open for those guys in the backfield because when we do that we're going to be dangerous."

The Bears' offensive line was recently ranked 22nd in the league by Pro Football Focus with the caveat that they could become one of the NFL's 10-best units if it returns to the level of play we saw in 2018. Whitehair was a big reason for that productive season, and he logged all 1,139 of his snaps at center that year.