Football fan or not, almost everyone knows about the controversy surrounding the recent protest by San Francisco 49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
Kaepernick’s silent protest during the National Anthem has gathered a lot of attention and criticism from many, but he has also gotten support from other athletes like Megan Rapinoe and Eric Reid. For Reid and Kaepernick, it looks like there’s a chance they won’t be the only West Coast football players protesting the anthem.
The Seattle Seahawks could possibly be joining the protest by sitting or kneeling during the anthem as a team. Members of the Seahawks have already individually voiced their support for Kaepernick and the reason for his protest, but the sight of a team protesting together as one has not been seen.
The team has not officially confirmed or denied the move, but, according to linebacker Bobby Wagner, the team has discussed the potential protest, and the final decision will be a big surprise.
“It’s going to be a team thing,” said Wagner of the potential protest. “That’s what the world needs to see. The world needs to see people coming together versus being individuals.”
Kaepernick’s protest gathered attention when he chose to sit during a preseason game against the Green Bay Packers. Kaepernick’s intention was to use his standing in the public sphere to start a discussion on the injustice suffered by minorities in the United States and hopefully result in change in “a system he believes to be broken.”
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” said Kaepernick. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
Kaepernick has not broken any law or rule with his protest. While it is encouraged for everyone to stand during the playing of the national anthem, it is not mandatory. His peaceful protest is also well within the rights he has as an American citizen.
With the return of football coinciding with the 15th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, a lot of attention will be going towards the pregame demonstration before the game.
“The Seahawks, and probably every team, will be honoring those who serve in camouflage and also those in blue who served on such a difficult day,” said former Green Beret Nate Boyer. “Shortly after 9/11, our country seemed more unified than I had ever experienced and was the most unified it has been since I have been alive. Since that date, we have grown farther apart in our unity. Standing together this Sunday is key to making progress. What the team will do is a powerful sign of unification.”