The Seattle Seahawks had a big announcement as it pertained to Colin Kaepernick's recent protest of the national anthem. The Seahawks came out and told the world that they stand against Colin Kaepernick.
Kaepernick has stated that he will not stand for the anthem until America addresses the systematic injustices that exist, particularly when it comes to the treatment of African Americans within the criminal justice system. He specifically focused on police brutality and the recent influx of reports of killings of young unarmed African Americans.
With this protest has come much backlash about Kaepernick's form of protest, predominantly focused on Kaepernick disrespecting the flag and veterans, while strategically ignoring the actual root of his protest. Many have come out since in support of Kaepernick's actual protest and have acted by taking a knee during the anthem, as he now does, as a form of compromise within protest.
With this information, the masses assumed that the Seattle Seahawks would be taking a knee as a team to show unity and their support for the actual issue of the protest. Well, we all know what they say about making assumptions. Instead of kneeling with Kaepernick to protest police brutality, injustice and equality among people of color, the Seattle Seahawks released a statement essentially saying America's comfort is more important and that they do not support Colin Kaepernick's protest. The Seattle Seahawks have essentially taken themselves out of the protest by refusing to take a stand on inequality by kneeling with Kaepernick.
1. The Seattle Seahawks biggest statement as a team addressed the backlash of the protest and not the actual issue Kaepernick is protesting.
The issue of the protest, which is systematic racism and police brutality, has been diluted by focusing on the action of standing, and what it means to stand, instead of addressing systematic injustices and police killings. Seattle Seahawks have essentially done the same by players tweeting and releasing statements focusing on the only way to change is to STAND together making standing the center of the conversation when it should not be.
If the Seattle Seahawks wanted to show unity to make a change the best would have been to kneel together to focus on the issue of the protest, and not focusing on the action of standing. If the Seahawks standing with their arms linked is about unifying and making a change why not kneel together to show the same unity?
2. A protest within the confinement of the system that you are protesting is not a protest.
Many have spoken out stating that they agree with the statements and protest of Kaepernick, but they do not agree with his method. So many questions must be asked when someone says such nonsense. How can America tell someone how to protest? If I do as you ask to make you comfortable while protesting is it still a protest? If Kaepernick started to stand again and just speak out, would he still be protesting? If Kaepernick would have spoken out but never took a seat would we still be talking about his protest? If everyone is mad about athletes taking a knee as a form of protest and the Seattle Seahawks choose not to take a knee, but instead to do what is being asked and stand, are they protesting?
3. The Seattle Seahawks actions are to "make America comfortable again."
Their actions will likely lead to others choosing to do the same to show "support" for change, but no change will come of this type of "protest." With protest must come action and discomfort. The Seattle Seahawks are speaking on change, but their actions are not showing that they want change. I have always been taught to believe one's actions versus their words. The Seattle Seahawks are not willing to make anyone, or themselves, uncomfortable.
4. The Seattle Seahawks are afraid.
They showed us with their actions. They could have stayed quite an just continue to stand like the other teams. Instead they chose to let it be known that they are allowing money and endorsement to compromise their outrage. With the backlash comes consequence. When Colin Kaepernick took a stand, he knew that there would be endorsements and money lost. He was willing to take that risk to say these injustices must stop. He lost endorsements, but in that he gained revenue in support in jersey sales. He chose to donate those proceeds towards the change he is trying to make.
Brandon Marshall who plays for the Denver Broncos spoke through his actions by taking a risk, and paid the consequences by losing an endorsement deal. He knew that, but didn't allow his outrage to be compromised by the endorsement. He has shown no regrets in his decision to kneel. The players of the Seattle Seahawks showed us that their endorsements matter more. They want no speculation on where they stand when it comes to the issue of standing for the national anthem. Endorsements matter enough to turn a blind eye to the real issue, and play it safe.
The Seattle Seahawks chose to stand in unity instead of choosing to kneel and fight.