Former Seahawks RB sees both sides of ‘picture gate’ controversy

Apr 21, 2024, 1:21 PM

A decision in decor at the Seattle Seahawks’ headquarters in Renton elicited a firestorm on social media and national sports talk shows this week.

Seattle Seahawks GM addresses ‘picture gate’ at team HQ

With new head coach Mike Macdonald taking over, the team decided to take down pictures and mantras from the Pete Carroll era that were prominently displayed on a wall in the building. The decision caught the attention of Rich Eisen, Pat McAfee and even Seahawks legend Richard Sherman, though general manager/president of football operations John Schneider (who jokingly referred to the ordeal as “picture gate”) told Seattle Sports the team still plans to honor its history with new video boards that will rotate images current and past Seahawks photos.

Former Seahawks running back Robert Turbin helped create some of the lasting memories of Carroll’s 14-year tenure in Seattle. He joined Seattle Sports’ Bump and Stacy on Friday and gave his thoughts on the change of scenery at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center.

“I’m kind of on the fence with that because I get change,” Turbin said. “Change is good, change is inevitable, right? The only thing constant in this world is change. If you’re bringing a new head coach, new general manager, whatever the case may be, there’s certainly going to be changes.”

Turbin knows a thing or two about the accomplishments of the Carroll era. He played for the Seahawks from 2012-14 and again in 2019, all four seasons of which Carroll was Seattle’s coach. Seattle reached the playoffs in each of those four seasons, including the franchise’s first-ever Super Bowl victory following the 2013 season.

“There’s a space where there is tradition and there is history,” Turbin said. “… It’s not about getting rid of the past, but more so, ‘Hey, this is an inspiration, and also this is what we represent as a franchise.’ So, hopefully there’s a plan to still be able to keep some of those things up somewhere. If not, that would be a little bit disappointing because essentially that would feel like you’re trying to just erase the history and the tradition that was created that is now the Seattle Seahawks’ that’s going to last forever.”

When Schneider addressed the situation during the John Schneider Show on Thursday, he said there are still plenty of mementos of the team’s history at the facility and there is a current effort to add more digital aspects. Schneider said that gives the team the opportunity to still celebrate its history while building anew under Macdonald.

Bump and Stacy co-host Stacy Rost asked Turbin about the message that clearing the wall could send to new players, namely if it could serve as a motivating factor to build a new tradition.

“I can definitely see that angle of it for sure, 100%,” Turbin said, “because when you see those old photos and things of that nature, it serves as an inspiration, motivation like, ‘Hey, I want my picture up on the wall or my name up on the wall or maybe someday when I’m done playing football, I can be on the Ring of Honor.’ Things of that nature. So, I certainly see it from that standpoint. I just wouldn’t want the history to be completely eliminated.”

Listen to the full conversation at this link or in the audio player near the top of this story. Tune in to Bump and Stacy weekdays from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. or find the podcast on the Seattle Sports app.

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