The subject of sitting during the National Anthem to stage a protest against racial inequality has been a hot topic of debate for the last two weeks, first beginning with San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick, and then extending to his teammate Eric Reid and Seattle Seahawks cornerback Jeremy Lane the following week. How many more players may join them this week remains to be seen, but is it possible there will be at least 52 additional NFLers protesting during the anthem on Sunday — all Lane’s teammates on the Seahawks?
Reports about that are conflicting, to say the least.
Lane said earlier this week that he would continue to sit during the National Anthem and that he would not ask any other Seattle players to join him. “I’m doing this for me,” Lane told reporters on Monday. Head coach Pete Carroll has supported Lane in whatever he chooses to do, just telling him to “be smart” about it. But then Doug Baldwin added fuel to the fire on Thursday.
To express a desire to bring people together, our team will honor the country and flag in a pregame demonstration of unity.— Doug Baldwin Jr (@DougBaldwinJr) September 8, 2016
Longsnapper and former Green Beret Nate Boyer, not a member of the Seahawks, joined in.
Talked to the @Seahawks What the team will do is a powerful sign of unification + respect for the Anthem + those that fight for our Freedom!— Nate Boyer (@NateBoyer37) September 8, 2016
What’s not clear is what Boyer means when he says that he talked to the @Seahawks. Did he talk to several members? The social media manager?
Baldwin said on Wednesday that he hadn’t made a decision regarding standing or taking a knee during the anthem this weekend when the team takes on the Miami Dolphins on the 15th anniversary of September 11, but it appears that some sort of idea about what to do has come to light.
I am. I overestimated people’s ability to overcome their emotional response and think logically. We will prevail tho https://t.co/o19pzeYnjF— Doug Baldwin Jr (@DougBaldwinJr) September 8, 2016
But not all Seattle players seem to be aware of any protest.
Earl Thomas said no one told him anything about the plans for Sunday. Said he doesn't know. #Seahawks— Liz Mathews 710 ESPN (@Liz_Mathews) September 8, 2016
Perhaps there is a movement for a plan though without everyone being aware of it yet. Linebacker Bobby Wagner told the Seattle Times this week that if the Seahawks do anything, that it will be a “a team thing” because “that’s what the world needs to see.”
There’s no doubt that at this point, a player protesting during the National Anthem will go mostly unnoticed. The country was talking about Kaepernick, but Lane, Reid, and Denver Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall barely made an impact. A team, on 9/11, would be a different story.