Colin Kaepernick’s national anthem protest, which expanded to include a teammate and a member of the Seattle Seahawks last week, could grow even bigger in Week 1 of the NFL season.
Seattle’s Doug Baldwin and Cliff Avril both said they’re considering joining the protest with teammate Jeremy Lane, who sat during the anthem last week.
‘I want to make sure I get all my ducks in a row before I do so," Baldwin told reporters Wednesday. "My grandfather being in the military, it hit home for me as well. It’s the veterans that have reached out and said that’s what they fought for, that’s what they sacrificed their lives for was to give people back home under the flag, under this country, the opportunity to stand up or sit for what they believe in. So that was very heartening for me to hear that."
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Baldwin shared comments from one supportive military member on Facebook.
Avril said he also has considered taking a knee during the anthem.
"We’re thinking about it. I am," Avril told reporters. "I truly respect what Kaep is doing. I think some people are taking it out of context because they’re not experiencing the same thing other people are experiencing. They can’t really see it. But as a person that does see it and does see what’s really going on out here, I definitely could see me doing something about it as well."
Teammate Bobby Wagner told reporters: "Anything that we want to do, it’s not going to be individual. It’s going to be a team thing because that’s what the world needs to see. The world needs to see people coming together versus being individuals."
Will we see the entire Seahawks team take a knee during the anthem? Not a chance. Russell Wilson already spoke out against protesting the anthem, and it’s almost impossible to imagine every player agreeing to make some kind of statement.
But with the NFL declining to discipline players for it, they clearly feel empowered. However, with Sunday being 9/11, the heat on protestors likely will be turned up, and that could influence some to remain standing for the anthem — at least for another week.
"Even if it wasn’t September 11th, the point of the protest is to get people to think," Baldwin told reporters. "I think it’s very ironic to me that 15 years ago, on September 11th, one of the most devastating times in U.S. history, and after that day, we were probably one of the most unified that we’ve ever been. And today, you struggle to see the unity."