The Seahawks had a mock game on Wednesday. Some players sat during the national anthem played before the game. After the game, coach Pete Carroll addressed the shooting of Jacob Blake, which has sparked widespread outrage and protest in the sports community.
“This whole thing is ridiculous, and anybody that doesn’t recognize that just isn’t paying attention,” Carroll said.
So could teams decide to not take the field during the 2020 season?
“Anything’s possible,” Carroll said. “I mentioned to the players this is the year — the protest season. It’s the season of protesting. And we’ll handle ourselves as we do. This is a protest that doesn’t have an end to it until all the problems go away. And we solve the issues and stuff. So we’re gonna do our part and continue to work to stay actively involved, and continue to stay in touch with the situations that are going on by staying on the topics and with it just in hopes that we can be there to help and support where we can and have influence where we can.”
For NFL teams, the power to protest becomes most relevant during the anthem, but there are indications that it will spread more broadly than that. From the Lions shutting down practice on Tuesday to whatever may happen with practices and games going forward, NFL players are using both their words and their actions to solve the problem of police brutality against minorities. As NBA players become even more aggressive in their words and actions, NFL players may decide to follow suit.