The Seattle Seahawks have come under much criticism after a rumor became truth for many in the media regarding their plans for the National Anthem prior to their opening game at 1:05 pm Pacific on September 11, the 15th anniversary of that horrific day in 2001 when Islamic terrorists killed 3,000 Americans. The rumors and speculation stemmed from WR Doug Baldwin saying to the media that the team had something planned for that day.
Since defensive back Jeremy Lane knelt during the National Anthem of their final pre-season game to show support for Colin Kaepernick, the rumor spread that the entire team was going to do the same. This caused a PR nightmare for the team with some, including former congressman and conservative talk radio host Joe Walsh, lambasting the Seahawks and calling for a boycott of the NFL. Those who have attacked the team and said all kinds of horrific things about them now have egg on their faces for jumping to conclusions after Baldwin revealed via a video on Twitter what the team has actually planned.
In his tweet of the video, Baldwin shares the Martin Luther King, Jr. quote, “Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
— Doug Baldwin Jr (@DougBaldwinJr) September 10, 2016
“We are a team comprised of individuals with diverse backgrounds and, as a team, we have chosen to stand and interlock arms in unity.
We honor 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.”
According to ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, the team will interlock arms and alternate between black and white players as they stand together in honor of America and our flag, which represents freedom, in a powerful demonstration of unity.
Baldwin’s tweet was retweeted by head coach Pete Carroll and numerous Seahawks players. The Seattle Seahawks official Twitter account retweeted the tweets as well.
So proud of our guys. Hope you'll stand with us and help build that bridge https://t.co/Z5ubtyWFg7
— Pete Carroll (@PeteCarroll) September 10, 2016
— Justin Britt (@JustinBritt68) September 10, 2016
— Luke Willson (@LWillson_82) September 10, 2016
— Brandon Williams (@brandonw885) September 10, 2016
Defensive end Michael Bennett posed a question when he tweeted Baldwin’s video that is powerful in its own right.
You see what we are doing….what are you doing to make a change? Find someone to build a bridge. pic.twitter.com/774LAyWtFF
— Michael Bennett (@mosesbread72) September 10, 2016
Quarterback Russell Wilson took to both Twitter and Instagram and reiterated a message he shared after San Francisco 49ers backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick sat down during the pledge because, as he said at the time, he would not honor the flag of a country that oppressed black people.
When Wilson was asked about it ten days ago, he shared why he does and always will honor the flag.
“For me, I love the flag. I love the National Anthem because it’s an emotional time for me because I’m so grateful I get to play on the football field. And every time I get to put my hand on my heart, it’s truly an honor — you know, the military, for me I think about my family members who have served, and friends — I train down in San Diego all the time, so I’m around the Navy and I see those guys around. And all they do for our country and the people in Afghanistan and all these people fighting. 9/11, for example, coming up — that’s going to be our first game and I think about all the pain from that. So that’s why I stand and put my hand on my heart.”
I have been a Seahawks fan for years, ever since I moved there more than a decade ago. I stood proudly as a Seahawks fan even during the not so good years because I loved the sense of spirit of the team and the excitement throughout the area for them. Today, even though I no longer live there, I remain a Seahawks fan and proudly so.
With this statement of unity, the Seattle Seahawks make me even more proud. Well done, guys. I’ll be watching with my box of Kleenex by my side to wipe away the tears I am sure to shed as the chills that usually run down my spine as I hear the National Anthem overcome me once again.
God bless America.