Colin Kaepernick, Jeremy Lane, Eric Reid, Marcus Peters, and others in the NFL have made statements such as taking a knee, sitting, or raising a fist during the National Anthem. But as Seattle Times reporter Matt Calkins wrote on Friday, none of the players protesting in this form have been white.
There have been white professional athletes — such asSeattle Reign midfielder Megan Rapinoe — who have committed to protesting during the national anthem. And there have been white male high-school athletes — such as those from the Garfield football team — who have done the same.
But a month after Kaepernick’s dissent captured the nation’s attention, we are yet to see a white NFL player make a similar gesture as “The Star Spangled Banner” plays.
So players on the Seattle Seahawks were asked their opinions on if and when a white player should join in protest, and the response was overwhelming in favor of it happening.
“If somebody like, say, Aaron Rodgers got behind us, I think it would touch home for a lot more people,” said Seahawks defensive lineman Cliff Avril...
“I think it would have a great impact,” Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin said. “It would get a different part of the population to open their eyes and ears.”
It’s clear then that players would like to see white players sit or kneel during the National Anthem as that may get more of white America to empathize with the cause, or at least maybe it would make more white people comfortable with joining the cause. White people like Seahawks kicker Steven Hauschka, who admitted he is uncomfortable by not knowing what to do.
“I don’t want to speak for all white people, but I know for myself, I’m uncomfortable about the subject. There’s a lot of racial tension that goes way back, and I don’t know what it’s like to be black in this country. I don’t know how any white person could.”
However, I’m not sure what Hauschka or any other white person on Seattle is supposed to do; after all, nobody on the team is sitting or kneeling during the National Anthem right now. They’re all linking arms or “building a bridge” as they put it. Does this mean that they’ll stop building the bridge so that certain players can kneel during the National Anthem? Including white players? Or are they asking for a white player on a different team to start joining the movement by himself?
We’ll see if the Seahawks do anything differently before their game against Colin Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49ers this Sunday in Seattle.
Also of note: Kaepernick’s biological mother is white ... and she even went on Twitter to publicly tell him that she disagreed with his decision to protest in this manner.