The 2020 NFL season will kick off in less than a week with the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs hosting the Houston Texans.
A few days later, the Seattle Seahawks will take on the Atlanta Falcons in Georgia during a point in American history that’s vastly different since the last time these two teams took to the field.
The COVID-19 pandemic will lead to an empty stadium in Atlanta. The backdrop being the Black Lives Matter movement and fight against police brutality in the United States. Georgia itself is a fitting start to the season for a Seahawks team that plans to honor victims of said police brutality during the 2020 NFL season.
Seahawks to wear patches on uniforms to honor victims of police brutality
In making the announcement on Friday, the Seahawks pointed to the story of Emmett Till. The 14-year-old African-American boy was brutally murdered by white supremacists in Mississippi some 65 years ago. It’s one of the events that led to the original civil rights movement in the United States.
A product of Mississippi himself, star second-year Seahawks receiver D.K. Metcalf grew up on stories of that brutal murder. It’s why he will be wearing a decal reading “Emmett Till” on the back of his helmet.
Starting a week ago this coming Sunday, the Seahawks will honor victims of police brutality while supporting the current movement to end systemic racism in the United States. Some of the slogans include:
Black Lives Matter
It Takes Us All
This shouldn’t necessarily come as too much of a surprise. The Seahawks play in one of the most progressive cities in North America, one that has been at the front lines of the Black Lives Matter movement in recent years. That’s especially true following the murder of a black man by the name of George Floyd by a then-Minneapolis police officer back on May 25.
For his part, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll has in the past taken part in protests in the Pacific Northwest. He continues to speak out against police brutality and racial inequality in the United States.
As a whole, the NFL has changed its tune regarding Black Lives Matter and the related movement to help enact change on a societal level. In addition to supporting national anthem protests this season, the league now officially endorses what Black Lives Matter stands for.
This promises to be a major backdrop with the 2020 NFL season kicking off in less than a week.