After recent hullabaloo about several Seattle Seahawks' team members saying they were considering protesting the national anthem over civil rights concerns when the team faces the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorists' attacks, the rest of the team decided on a plan of action -- one of interlocking arms and standing during the anthem as a sign of unity, Seahawks' receiver Doug Baldwin said in a Facebook 42-second video released Saturday (Sept. 10). "Progress can and will be made only if we stand together," he calmly stated.
"We honor those who have fought for the freedom we cherish, and we stand to ensure the riches of freedom and the security of justice for all people," Baldwin said in the video.
According to the Seattle Times, select Seahawks' players, including Baldwin and star linebacker Bobby Wagner, were thinking about joining San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who is prominently protesting the national anthem out of refusal to "show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people." Kaepernick has either sat or kneeled the past two games.
Mayor Mike Courts of DuPont, a small town outside Seattle, canceled a Seattle Seahawks preseason rally this week because the Seahawks had been discussing what to do for the national anthem before Sunday's regular-season opener.
Baldwin's caption on the Facebook post quoted Martin Luther King Jr., who once said: "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."
Baldwin further stated: "We live in the greatest country in the world because we have taken challenges head on. We have made the uncomfortable the norm. On one of the most memorable days in US history, we have an opportunity to unite again for a cause. To show why our country is so great. #BuildABridge"
Before Baldwin's announcement, Seahawks' head coach Pete Carroll said he was "so proud" of the process that Seattle's players went through to determine what they would do this weekend.
"They have a conscience about what they're doing," he said. "They really want to do the right thing and be right. I'm just proud of the way they've gone through it. These are just young men who are growing and they're trying to figure out the world themselves, too. They want to try to make sense of how they can have impact and affect others."
Seattle Seahawks Facebook fan, Kim Adams, posted the following in response to the teams decision, and she received quite a bit of agreement from other fans: "This is just confirmation of the class act organization that the Seattle Seahawks are. What a great way to not only honor our armed forces and first responders, but to also demonstrate that we are a nation that is strong enough to look at ourselves and ask the hard questions, shoulder to shoulder. Well done!"
Seahawks' cornerback Jeremy Lane sat during last week's national anthem, protesting racial injustice as San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick had already done, reports Yahoo News. At the time this article was published, it was uncertain if Lane will stand with his teammates Sunday, though Baldwin's video indicated the entire team will lock arms.
Kickoff for Sunday's game between the Seahawks and Dolphins is set for 1:05 p.m. PT, with television coverage on CBS.