Team takes up racial protest
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.