The NFL kicks off Week 1 Thursday evening, and I think a lot of us will be keeping on eye the pre-game festivities Thursday night and into Sunday and Monday to see if anybody joins Colin Kaepernick in his protest. The Seattle Seahawks are planning something, but we are not hearing a lot of specifics yet. Wide receiver Doug Baldwin tweeted this out:
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
On Wednesday, several members of the Seahawks spoke about the topic, and suggested support for Kaepernick. They included Baldwin, Cliff Avril, and Bobby Wagner.
Avril told Josina Anderson, "I'm not going to do anything disrespectful, but I do agree with what Colin Kaepernick is doing to bring attention to what is really going on in America."
Seahawks beat writer Tom Condotta got some interesting comments from Wagner and Baldwin. Wagner said he did not know if he would sit, but that if there was anything, it would be done together as a team, rather than individually. Baldwin said he had considered it, but wanted to get things figured out rather than do anything impulsively.
Last week, cornerback Jeremy Lane sat during the Anthem at the Seahawks-Raiders preseason game. Richard Sherman had previously said the team had discussed Kaepernick’s protest, and it is safe to say Lane’s decision to sit only added to the discussion.
There is no word from other teams, but one would have to think it is a frequent topic of discussion. This Sunday marks the 15th anniversary of 9/11, so that is something that adds to the context of the situation. Given Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid going to one knee with their teammates, rather than sitting down away from them, it provides some easier options for further developing the protest. I imagine plenty of players are concerned about the reaction, but this could make it easier for players on the fence to do something.