Updated: Jul 11
The Showtime Sports documentary “Boys in Blue” follows the Minneapolis North Polars Football team in the wake of George Floyd’s murder by a Minneapolis cop; it ends with the tragic death of teammate Deshaun Hill, Jr.
Many viewers have given Showtime its flowers for the way the network showcased the North Polars community. But for people close to the story, it was hard to watch. Quantayvious Roberts, a freshman at North High School, said it was an emotional experience for him and his teammates, especially seeing Deshaun again.
“I watched it with a group of some of my football teammates and like during that last episode like the majority of us like to drop to tears because it was very sad to see it and relive the moment of how we felt when he first died.” said Roberts.
One of the people at the center of the documentary is football coach Rick Plunkett, who is also a cop with the Minneapolis Police Department. Plunkett says one of the main reasons he coaches the team, and the reason he participated in the series, is to show that not all officers are bad.
“I wanted to be that person as their mentor, as their coach and as a police officer,” said Plunkett. “You have a trustworthy person, you have a trusted friend and whatever I can do at that particular moment imma do it. I'm the same in uniform, out of uniform, regardless - if I'm a coach, whatever, you see me on the streets, I'm going to be the same person.”
Plunkett says he has yet to finish watching the series, and he’s not talking about it with his students.
“They already lived it once and then going through the film and watching it again, that’s the second time. I wasn't gonna give them a third time to rehash it,” he said. “That's just real life for me and that's the way I like to keep it. I already know how it feels and I hate talking about it. When people talk I get quiet and I shut down because like I said I'm reliving it all over again.”
Producer Mandon Lovett says he’s proud of the series.
“All throughout the process, I knew we had something good on our hands, that I as a Black filmmaker could be proud of personally and our community could be proud of as well. Just the overwhelming positive response from people - I think there's something in this for everybody. It's a film that sticks with people.”