Pete Carroll encourages his Seahawks players to be themselves, which probably explains why more Seahawks are willing to express their opinions than players on many other teams.
Seahawks past and present have been engaging in a major discussion about injustices in society all summer, and it has risen to new levels this week in the wake of Colin Kaepernick’s oddly controversial protest.
Michael Bennett started talking about social injustice earlier this summer, calling out major NFL players for not joining NBA players in speaking out about police violence against black people.
Richard Sherman has voiced his opinion on Black Lives Matter and much more, too.
Russell Wilson, known for avoiding controversy, still made a little of the good kind when he refused to get married in North Carolina because of the state’s prejudicial bathroom law.
And now Kaepernick’s national anthem protest over police treatment of black people has expanded to include several current and former Seahawks.
Seattle players have supported Kaepernick’s stance. Bennett said Kaepernick is exercising his American right to free speech. Sherman said the quarterback makes a great point, although he “could have picked a better platform.”
Meanwhile, former Seahawks tackle Russell Okung wrote a piece in support of Kaepernick and all athletes who get involved in society’s concerns.
Kaepernick, who barely said a word when he was the 49ers’ starting QB, suddenly has been a verbose fountain while talking about his protest. It has raised the ire of silly super patriots who are more concerned about the form of the quarterback’s message than about the substance.
Nate Boyer is an educated patriot; he quickly realized how to separate Kaepernick’s thoughts from his actions. Boyer, the former Green Beret from Texas who spent last summer with the Seahawks, sought to redirect Kaepernick’s message so as not to offend the military — he stood next to the kneeling quarterback during the anthem on Thursday.
Meanwhile, in Oakland (just up the coast from Kaepernick and Boyer in San Diego), Jeremy Lane chose to stand behind Kaepernick’s message — by sitting during the anthem. Carroll said, “We support our guys.” And Sherman said, “Everybody’s entitled.”
Lane might get some backlash from super patriots, too, but who cares? These are the Seahawks, not the Patriots.
Kidding aside, people need to stop being so hypersensitive. Let others have their silent protests — they are not affecting anyone.
That was the crux of Doug Baldwin’s message via Twitter on Friday.
Now our two cents, which is more about the greater state of America: We live in a country of ridiculous paradoxes. On one hand, we have people (terrorists, thugs, rogue cops, et al.) who care nothing about other lives; on the other, we have people who care way too much about how people such as Kaepernick express their concern for other lives. Such a bizarre juxtaposition: A society that is both insensitive and hypersensitive at the same time.
There’s clearly no reason to go around killing innocent people, and there’s certainly no reason to get upset at someone who is upset about innocent people getting killed.
But, as Baldwin said to all of Kaepernick’s silly critics, “If you are offended by a peaceful protest regarding justice and the treatment of others, isn’t that the point?”
As the Seahawks embark on another expected Super Bowl season, you can expect them to continue to use their visibility to make social statements.
As Carroll said, “We’ve been in the process of communicating about a lot of (social) stuff right now. (Lane’s move) was an individual thing. I’m really proud of the progress we’re making in the conversation and I look forward to continuing it with our guys.”