Last week, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick sent the nation into a tizzy when he refused to rise for the national anthem. Kaepernick’s move was an act of protest denouncing the ongoing issues of police brutality and racial injustice in America.
Now, a few — or possibly all — players from the Seattle Seahawks are considering sitting out the “Star-Spangled Banner,” too.
According to sports news site Deadspin, Seahawks cornerback Jeremy Lane took a page out of Kaepernick’s book and chose to sit during the national anthem at a preseason game last week. Lane has vowed to continue his protest into the regular season.
“Just standing behind him (Kaepernick), what he said,” the Seahawks player said Monday. “Just piggybacking what he said, for the justice.”
The Seattle Times reports that Lane may not be alone, as fellow teammates Doug Baldwin and linebacker Bobby Wagner think about joining him.
“I have (considered it),” Baldwin told reporters before the Seahawks practice Wednesday afternoon. “I want to make sure I get all of my ducks in a row before I do so.’’
According to the Seattle Times, the Seahawks receiver is looking to sit out the national anthem before Sunday’s season opener against the Miami Dolphins. For Wagner, however, the protest of just one player isn’t enough; if the Seahawks are going to protest, they’re going to do it en masse.
“Anything we want to do, it’s not going to be individual,” Wagner said. “It’s going to be a team thing. That’s what the world needs to see. The world needs to see people coming together versus being individuals.”
The linebacker declined to give specifics on how the team might protest, but said, “Whatever we decide to do will be a big surprise.”
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll has since voiced support for his players and their right to stand up (or sit down) for what they believe in. He added that his players fully understand the responsibilities of their actions and any backlash that may follow.
“We have the freedom to do whatever we want here,” Wagner told the Seattle Times. “Whatever we decide to do, we ain’t gonna get into too much trouble. We’re big kids now.”
The linebacker also ensured that there would be no locker room tension if a few players didn’t agree to protest. Whether everyone is on board or not, Wagner said he’ll chalk it up to the fact that “we’re all human beings” who may not agree sometimes.
Per CBS Sports, the Seahawks season opener is scheduled for Sept. 11 — the 15-year anniversary of the terror attacks on the Twin Towers. The somber occasion has a few questioning the appropriateness of the protest. Some players see the anniversary as a chance to highlight the divisiveness in America today.
“I think that anybody should be thinking about that (Sept. 11),” Baldwin said. “Even if it wasn’t September 11, the point of the protest is to get people to think. I think it’s very ironic to me that 15 years ago on Sept. 11 was one of the most devastating times in U.S .history and after that day we were probably the most unified that we have ever been. And today we struggle to see the unity.”
“And it’s very ironic to me that this date is coming up,” he continued. “So it’s going to be a special day, a very significant day, but at the same time I am looking forward to the may changes and differences, the changes we can make in this country to make better changes in our country.”