A day after several Seahawks players talked about joining cornerback Jeremy Lane in possibly sitting during the national anthem before Sunday’s game against Miami – and with Bobby Wagner saying the players might decide to do something as a team – the tenor appeared to change.
On Thursday, players appeared to have taken a team-wide vow of relative silence on the issue, though receiver Doug Baldwin issued a tweet hinting at what may happen Sunday.
In his tweet, Baldwin wrote: “To express a desire to bring people together, our team will honor the country and flag in a pregame demonstration of unity.”
Asked later in the locker room to elaborate on what that tweet meant, Baldwin – who on Wednesday said he had been considering whether to sit during the anthem said “you’ll just have to wait until Sunday.”
Other players also evaded the topic.
Before Baldwin had released his tweet, quarterback Russell Wilson was asked about the possibility of a team-wide action during the anthem and said “right now we’re just focused on the Dolphins. That’s too far down the road right now. I’m just trying to get ready, so that’s kind of our focus right now.”
Defensive end Cliff Avril answered similarly saying “I don’t know what other guys are doing. But I do know that we are here to talk about the Dolphins so that’s what we are going to do today.
Added safety Earl Thomas when asked about Baldwin’s tweet: ”I can’t speak for Doug when it comes to stuff like that. That’s Doug.”
Asked if there had been more discussions about what to do during the anthem, Thomas said “I haven’t heard. No one has told me anything. I don’t know.”
However, indications are that the action will be one that does not involve sitting during the anthem, with one source saying it’s something that would be viewed positively.
Former Seahawk and Green Beret veteran Nate Boyer also gave a hint at what may be to come with a tweet reading “Talked to the Seahawks. What the team will do is a powerful sign of unification (plus) respect for the Anthem (plus) those that fight for our Freedom!”
Boyer appeared to give a further indication of what to expect during an interview with FoxSportsRadio Thursday.
“I spoke with the players, and they realize that 9/11 is a very important day in our nation’s history,” he said. “The Seahawks, and probably every team, will be honoring those who serve in camouflage, and also those in blue who served on such a difficult day. Shortly after 9/11 our country seemed more unified than I had ever experienced, and was the most unified it has been since I have been alive. Since that date, we have grown farther apart in our unity. Standing together this Sunday is key to making progress. What the team will do is a powerful sign of unification.”
The team had no official comment.
San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick sat during the national anthem prior to a preseason game on Aug. 26, saying he was protesting police brutality against African-Americans and overall racial inequality.
Seattle cornerback Jeremy Lane sat during the anthem before a preseason game against Oakland on Sept. 1 saying he was doing so to show solidarity for Kaepernick. Lane then said on Monday he would continue to sit during the anthem.
Baldwin on Wednesday said he had also been considering whether to sit while Wagner said that he didn’t know if he could sit during the anthem but that the team could consider a group action.
“Aything we want to do, it’s not going to be individual,” Wagner said. “It’s going to be a team thing. That’s what the world needs to see. The world needs to see people coming together versus being individuals.”
Sunday’s game falls on the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks, which Wagner and Baldwin had said on Wednesday would have to be considered in any action the team or individuals might take.
“I think that anybody should be thinking about that,” Baldwin said. “Even if it wasn’t Sept. 11, the point of the protest is to get people to think. I think it’s very ironic to me that 15 years ago on Sept.11 was one of the most devastating times in U.S. history, and after that day we were probably the most unified that we have ever been. And today we struggle to see the unity. And it’s very ironic to me that this date is coming up. So it’s going to be a special day, a very significant day, but at the same time I am looking forward to the many changes and differences, the changes we can make in this country to make better changes in our country.”
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