Wide receiver Doug Baldwin announced Thursday that Seattle Seahawks players are planning a pregame “demonstration of unity” during the 2016 NFL season opener Sunday. The date also marks the 15th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks.
The news comes on the heels of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s protest.
“To express our desire to bring people together,” Baldwin Tweeted. “Our team will honor the country and flag in a pregame demonstration of unity.”
Kaepernick has opted to kneel during the pregame national anthem as protest of the discrimination against African-Americans and people of color in the U.S.
Before the 2016 preseason finale on September 1, he was joined in protest by his teammate Eric Reid, Seattle Seahawks cornerback Jeremy Lane, and Seattle Reign midfielder Megan Rapinoe.
Lane told The Seattle Times’ Bob Condotta that while he doesn’t know Kaepernick personally, the 49ers quarterback reached out to thank him for his support.
“I just like what he’s doing, and I’m standing behind him,” said Lane.
A number of players around the league — including players at press conferences in Seattle — have been asked what they think of Kaepernick’s decision, and whether they also plan to sit.
In addition to Baldwin and Lane, Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner, defensive end Michael Bennett, and defensive backs Kam Chancellor and Richard Sherman have shared their thoughts (and support).
“I feel like the conversation is necessary because there’s obviously there’s a lot of stuff going on that’s not football-related,” Wagner told Brady Henderson of 710 ESPN. “I think it’s going in the right direction.”