Seahawks players have opted to stand interlocked arm-in-arm on Sunday during the national anthem as their way of showing solidarity with the movement begun by 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, and came to that decision after a series of frank and open conversations with coaches, sources said. Management supported the locker room’s efforts to take a stand against social injustice in whatever manner they chose to do so, and key veteran leaders kept coach Pete Carroll apprised of their plans as they evolved into this final decision.
Seattle players had talked openly about wanting to make a respectful motion before their season-opening game, a conversation sparked by Kaepernick’s decision to first sit for the national anthem and then to kneel, in an attempt to draw attention to issues of race, oppression and police brutality in this country. Veteran receiver Doug Baldwin ultimately announced via Twitter on Saturday that the team will stand interlocked arm-in-arm during the “Star Spangled Banner” and sources said that display will include corner Jeremy Lane, who previously had sat during the anthem in the final preseason game. A smattering of players around the league are expected to kneel for Week 1 games, however, and Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall did so in Thursday’s season opener.
Seahawks officials were kept in the loop as the players were weighing options for Sunday, sources said, and trusted the judgment of their leaders. Carroll is very socially conscious and involved in community outreach, and it is not uncommon at all for him to bring in individuals like Harry Edwards, am esteemed sociologist and activist who is now advising Kaepernick, and Kareem Abdul Jabbar to speak to his players.
The players have taken considerable care to make their statement in a way that is also cognizant of the import of this day (Seattle’s opener is the same day as the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks) and to comport themselves in a manner that in no way undermines the sacrifices made by military and first responders.
The NFL has planned leaguewide initiatives to honor those who lost their lives in the 9/11 attacks, and team sources were adamant that this planned event would not detract from those efforts. The highest reaches of the organization seem comfortable with what is likely to occur before the 4 p.m. ET kickoff.
Source: CBS Sports / Seahawks players kept Pete Carroll apprised of plans for pregrame demonstration