Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll stands with his players
By Jake Luppino
Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll makes it clear that social justice is important to this team and that he stands with his players.
The year 2020 will be one that goes down in history. Unfortunately, for many bad reasons. 2020 was kicked off with the death of Lakers Legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gigi. Shortly after, we were introduced to COVID-19, which essentially shut down the world and put everyone on house arrest. That was followed up by the death of George Floyd, which caused outrage in this country. Now the Seattle Seahawks might be looking at a different issue.
People roared in the streets chanting for justice and for the killings of unarmed black men and women to end. In Seattle specifically, people stormed the streets, looted stores and even took over an area in which no police were allowed. It was referred to as the autonomous zone.
While we have transitioned into a more progressive world, social injustice continues to occur in some views. Primarily, one race may be feeling the affects more than any other: African-Americans. Woefully, social injustice against African-Americans has been going on for centuries in this country since the days of slavery.
Each century presents different obstacles with new legislation and key terminology so it appears that no racist motives are present. But, it is driven by the same factor that caused millions and millions of African-Americans to be enslaved. The same factor that caused Jim Crow. The same factor that caused the War On Drugs.
During the Civil Rights Movement, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered, in my opinion, one of the most prominent quotes in America. It reads:
"First, I must confess that over the last few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Council-er or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate who is more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says ‘I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I can’t agree with your methods of direct action;’ who paternalistically feels he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by the myth of time and who constantly advises the Negro wait until a ‘more convenient season.’"
This quote comes from the “Letter from Birmingham Jail” in which Dr. King was arrested for protesting Birmingham, Alabama.
With an overwhelmingly and generally bad start to 2020, it was quite exciting when the NBA announced “the bubble“. All was going well in the bubble. Coronavirus was being contained as no players were testing positive. More importantly, NBA Commissioner, Adam Silver, was standing with his players and allowing them to wear warm up shirts that stated, “Black Lives Matter”, along with them putting a message on the back of their jersey.
Certain uniforms state “I am a Man,” others state “Educational Reform.” My point being is that these players felt they had a voice and a say in their sport and felt supported by Mr. Silver, their commissioner.
Until, of course, another allegedly unarmed black man was shot by the police. Jacob Blake was shot seven times by authorities after someone called 911 claiming he had taken their keys. When police arrived, Blake’s kids were in the car. Officers had their guns pointed at Blake when was walking back to his car. As he opened the passenger side door, he was shot seven times and was at least temporarily paralyzed.
This caused outrage around the country as protests started to occur in the streets. NBA players took a large stand when they decided to boycott the playoff games. This all started when the Milwaukee Bucks decided not to walk onto the floor in game 5 against the Orlando Magic.
Subsequently, the following games were postponed as well as the games that were supposed to take place on August 27, 2020. This bold move by the players spurred a discussion as to what could potentially occur in the NFL when the regular season starts.
With the Seattle Seahawks having a scrimmage at CenturyLink Field yesterday in the midst of all of this happening, head coach Pete Carroll was asked about this after the game. Here was his response:
"I really applaud those guys for taking the night, but that we all know that’s not enough, it’s just a statement, and what is important that everybody who is involved knows, it’s what we do about it and what we keep doing to straighten things out and get things right. This whole thing is ridiculous, and anybody that doesn’t recognize that just isn’t paying attention."
Later on, when coach Carroll was asked about if any Seattle Seahawks games will be boycotted and he responded, “anything is possible.”
The Seattle Seahawks are set to open up their season on September 1st at 1 PM eastern on the road against the Atlanta Falcons.
Pete Carroll is known as of the most player friendly coaches in the entire NFL. The Seattle Seahawks franchise has become a place where players are outspoken; a place where their opinion matters. While many insist it could lead to negative effects on the team, Carroll hasn’t changed his ways. He has created a culture where his players feel free to speak their mind. It’s one of the many reasons I love Coach Carroll.
Pete Carroll has been adamant about the Black Lives Matter movement and even walked in a march that took place in Seattle after the death of George Floyd. I am proud that Pete Carroll represents this franchise and has set the tone. One of the reasons many players work with Seattle is due to the culture that has been put in place. Coach Carroll has a unique ability of making players feel comfortable and building their confidence regardless of their skill set.
While I can’t wait to see our Seattle Seahawks take the field, I would understand and support if the players feel they need to tend their focus on social justice. With the combination of COVID-19 and social justice, it should one of the most unique seasons in NFL history.