Team takes up racial protest

The Myanmar Times - - Sport -

SEAT­TLE Sea­hawks re­ceiver Doug Bald­win said on Septem­ber 10 that he and his NFL team­mates will stand with in­ter­locked arms for yes­ter­day’s pre-game US an­them per­for­mance. (Note: Game oc­curred af­ter press time.)

The team’s de­ci­sion not to sit or kneel dur­ing “The Star-Span­gled Ban­ner” on the 15th an­niver­sary of the Septem­ber 11, 2001, attacks comes as San Fran­cisco 49ers quar­ter­back Colin Kaeper­nick has re­fused to stand for the an­them be­fore pre-sea­son ex­hi­bi­tion games.

Kaeper­nick says he is protest­ing what he sees as wrong­do­ings against African Amer­i­can in the United States in the wake of a se­ries of high-pro­file shoot­ings of black men by law en­force­ment – most of­ten white po­lice of­fi­cers.

A Sea­hawks player kneeled dur­ing last week’s an­them and dis­play of the US flag at a game. Play­ers this week agreed to take uni­fied ac­tion yes­ter­day when they hosted Mi­ami as Amer­ica com­mem­o­rates the dev­as­tat­ing attacks on New York and Wash­ing­ton 15 years ago.

“We are a team com­prised of in­di­vid­u­als with di­verse back­grounds,” Bald­win said in a video mes­sage posted on Face­book. “As a team, we have cho­sen to stand and in­ter­lock arms in unity. We hon­our those who have fought for the free­dom we cher­ish. And we stand to en­sure the riches of free­dom and the se­cu­rity of jus­tice for all peo­ple. Progress can and will be made only if we stand to­gether.”

Bald­win also posted a mes­sage cit­ing a quote by the late US civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr, say­ing, “The ul­ti­mate mea­sure of a man is not where he stands in mo­ments of com­fort and con­ve­nience but where he stands at times of chal­lenge and con­tro­versy.”

The Sea­hawks seek to send a unity mes­sage while ad­dress­ing the con­tro­versy that will have player ac­tions scru­ti­nised at ev­ery game.

“We live in the great­est coun­try in the world be­cause we have taken chal­lenges head on,” Bald­win said.

“We have made the un­com­fort­able the norm. On one of the most mem­o­rable days in US his­tory, we have an op­por­tu­nity to unite again for a cause to show why our coun­try is so great.”

Den­ver Bron­cos line­backer Bran­don Mar­shall re­fused to stand for the an­them be­fore Septem­ber 8’s NFL sea­son-open­ing home vic­tory over Carolina, kneel­ing in sup­port of col­le­giate team­mate Kaeper­nick.

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