SEATTLE — Pete Carroll applauded actions taken by NBA players to sit out their playoff games in protest on Wednesday, three days after police in Wisconsin shot an unarmed Black man, and the Seattle Seahawks coach didn’t rule out the idea of NFL players taking similar action this fall.
“Anything’s possible,” Carroll said Wednesday afternoon. “As I mentioned to the players, this is the season of protest.”
More than a dozen Seahawks players sat on sideline benches during the playing of the national anthem Wednesday afternoon before the team’s second mock game of training camp, played in front of 72,000 empty seats at CenturyLink Field.
Carroll said he had a discussion with players Wednesday morning about how they plan to protest when their NFL season begins in Atlanta on Sept. 13. That dialogue is ongoing, he said.
“I’m listening to our guys,” Carroll said, “and I believe these guys have great wisdom and great connection to the issues and concerns. And so, you’ll see. We have a couple weeks to figure that out, but it is on top (of mind) of course, in terms of if we want to do something together (or) what happens with the anthem, that kind of stuff.”
New Seahawks safety Jamal Adams tweeted in support of the teams sitting out games Wednesday. In a series of three tweets, Adams wrote: “WE WANT CHANGE. WE WANT JUSTICE. … WILL IT EVER STOP? DO YOU NOT HEAR US? … Lord, I pray for better days.”
Adams tweeted again a short time later: “I’M SCARED FOR MY PARENTS LIVES. I’M SCARED FOR MY NEPHEWS AND NIECES LIVES. I’M SCARED FOR MY BROTHAS LIVES. I’M SCARED FOR MY SISTERS LIVES. I’M SCARED FOR MY DAMN FAMILY MAN!”
Carroll has been an outspoken proponent of the Black Lives Matter movement, both in interviews and in a new podcast, called “Flying Coach,” which he co-hosted with Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr.
U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, of New Jersey, was a guest on the podcast in July. On Tuesday night, Booker, who played football at Stanford, spoke on a Zoom call with Seahawks players for some 40 minutes.
“He was amazing,” Carroll said, adding: “He helped us with a number of areas, just trying to find the understanding and the potential for the change. And I think that it’s so important for us to stay with it. He emphasized to us that everybody has a voice now … that every one of our guys has a big following, to some extent, and so they have people that care what they think about.
“He urged us to really think about what we want to say to those people and know that we do have the power to have effect.”
Carroll had a number of Zoom meetings with his players after police killed George Floyd, an unarmed Black man in Minneapolis. Those conversations continued throughout the summer, and picked up again this week after police shot Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Sunday.
“The fact that this occurred again, the Jacob Blake (shooting), in plain view, plain sight and all that, it is just such a horrific thing,” Carroll said. “It is just ridiculous —it continues to be a real problem … and anybody who doesn’t recognize that isn’t paying attention.”
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