San Francisco 49er’s quarterback Colin Kaepernick began his protest against police violence alone when he refused to stand for the National Anthem, and sparked a national debate about the freedom of speech and all that it entails. He also inspired other NFL players from other teams to follow his lead, including Jeremy Lane from the Seattle Seahawks. Lane refused to stand during the national anthem, and through his protest Lane may have inspired his entire time to join him in protest as well, but a decision has not yet been made.
Bobby Wagner is the Seahawks’ linebacker and said of the upcoming protest, “Anything we want to do, it’s not going to be individual. 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 head coach of the Seahawks, Pete Carroll, supports the actions his players are taking. He said, “He’s pretty clear on what he did and what he was trying to express and I think it is very simple and so we’ll leave that up to him, but he understands the responsibility of it, I think, and shouldering it.”
If the entire Seahawks team were to join in the protest it would be the largest refusal by a sports team to stand for the National Anthem in the history of America. The blow back from the public is not to be taken lightly, however, and if the Seahawks do intend to refuse to stand they risk alienating many of their fans who may not understand what their favorite sports stars are doing. Bobby Wagner echoed this point, “I think sometimes everybody takes the message wrong because there’s a lot of stuff that’s going on, a lot of bad stuff that’s going on that needs to be fixed.”