The Seattle Seahawks will be linking arms and standing together during the national anthem on Sunday, and head coach Pete Carroll couldn’t be prouder of his guys.
Doug Baldwin revealed the team’s intent to show unity in a short video on Saturday (watch here).
Michael Robinson, one of Carroll’s former players and current NFL Network analyst, passed along a conversation he had with the coach about the team’s decision.
Carroll made it clear that the plan to have everyone stand and link arms was a player-led movement.
“They want to be specific that this is a sign of unity. I had a couple conversations last night, talked to (coach) Pete Carroll, a lot of the guys on the team, and they really feel like it’s time,” Robinson said, via NFL.com. “I talked to coach about maybe this issue is a little bit bigger than football, and he agreed. Everybody who knows coach Carroll knows he’s a guy who likes to attack issues. And he thought this was great. It was all player driven … I think the Miami Dolphins have a little something they may do during the national anthem also.”
Robinson went on to describe Carroll’s point of view on why the team needed to come together, and why addressing the issues raised by Colin Kaepernick is so important.
“Carroll said something really interesting to me last night: He said, ‘Mike, somebody has to do this in our lifetime, it just has to be done. We’re not a perfect nation, our players are our role models whether they want to be or not and some things are just bigger than the game of football.'”
Carroll was asked by Robinson if the team’s white players were totally on board, and the coach responded by saying, “Mike, really, they came to it with their hearts open. They wanted to understand … it was an education process.”
It’s going to be interesting to see if Seahawks cornerback Jeremy Lane is completely on board with this. He sat down during the anthem during the team’s final preseason game, joining Kaepernick and Eric Reid of the San Francisco 49ers.
Being that Sunday is the 15th anniversary of the September 11 attacks that rocked the nation, many will appreciate Seattle’s players for standing together during the anthem. But there is no doubt there will be others who feel like the move to keep a guy like Lane from kneeling or sitting takes away from the message he is hoping to send.
It’s going to be an interesting day around the NFL. The league will be commemorating the date with a patriotic ceremony, and emotions will run high.