Doug Baldwin says he, Seahawks teammates have considered joining Jeremy Lane in protest
RENTON – Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin says he and other Seahawks have considered joining cornerback Jeremy Lane in protesting during the national anthem.
Lane sat during the anthem before Seattle’s final preseason game last Thursday against Oakland and said earlier this week that he will continue to do so. Lane was following the lead of 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who sat and then took a knee during the anthem the past two weeks in protest of discrimination against African Americans and minorities in America.
“I have,” Baldwin said Wednesday when asked if he’s considered joining Lane. “I want to make sure that I get all of my ducks in a row before I do so.”
Asked if any other Seahawks teammates are considering doing the same, Baldwin said, “Our locker room has discussed it, so we’ll see.”
The Seahawks open their regular season against Miami on Sunday, which will be the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Baldwin was asked if the significance of that date should be taken into account by players thinking about joining the national-anthem protest.
“Absolutely,” he said. “I think that anybody should be thinking about that, 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, one of the most devastating times in US history, and after that day, we were probably the most unified that we’ve ever been. And today, you struggle to see the unity. 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.”
Baldwin said he reached out to Kaepernick and that the two have talked extensively in recent weeks, noting that they have a mutual friend in former Seahawks and one-time 49ers wide receiver Ricardo Lockette. Baldwin wouldn’t elaborate on the nature of their conversations, only saying they’ve been “very good.”
The societal issues that have motivated Kaepernick, 49ers teammate Eric Reid and Lane to not stand for the national anthem have been discussed at length in the Seahawks’ locker room and during team meetings. Linebacker Bobby Wagner was asked about those conversations and about Seahawks players considering joining Lane in protest.
“I think they’ve been very, very positive conversations,” Wagner said. “I feel like the conversation is necessary because there’s obviously there’s a lot of stuff going on that’s not football-related. I think it’s going in the right direction, and whatever we decide to do, it’ll be a surprise.”
Wagner’s comments suggested that the Seahawks could stage some sort of team-wide demonstration.
“Anything that we’re going to do, it’s not going to be (as) individuals,” he said. “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 vs. being individuals.”
Wagner said that while he doesn’t know if he would decline to stand for the national anthem, he supports Kaepernick and the message he is trying to send.
“I think … everybody is taking the message wrong,” he said. “Because there’s a lot of stuff going on, a lot of bad stuff that’s going on that needs to be fixed. At some point, you’ve got to do whatever you’ve got to do to get that fixed. I think what he’s done is opened up that conversation and made people talk about it. Whenever you’ve got the president talking about those types of things, he’s definitely getting his message across. But I think it’s a very positive message, I think there should be justice and equality for everybody, no matter what your skin color is. I think that’s what he’s fighting for, because a lot of black people don’t get that.”