Doug Baldwin: Seahawks will hold ‘pregame demonstration of unity’
Linebacker Bobby Wagner hinted on Wednesday that Seahawks players could stage some sort of team-wide demonstration before Sunday’s regular-season opener at CenturyLink Field. Wide receiver Doug Baldwin confirmed as much Wednesday.
Baldwin tweeted: “To express a desire to bring people together, our team will honor the country and flag in a pregame demonstration of unity.”
Baldwin didn’t provide any details beyond that one-sentence tweet, and several Seahawks who were asked about a possible demonstration didn’t say anything about it.
The Seahawks open their season Sunday at CenturyLink Field on what will be the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, which has added another layer to speculation that Seattle’s players could join teammate Jeremy Lane in protesting racial inequality in America. Following the lead of 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, Lane sat during the national anthem last week before the Seahawks’ final preseason game and said he will continue doing so.
Whatever the Seahawks have planned for Sunday has the approval of Nate Boyer, a former U.S. Army Green Beret who spent time with Seattle last offseason as an undrafted rookie long-snapper. Boyer and Kaepernick have become a symbol of the potential for unity by coming together in the wake of Kaepernick’s protest.
Boyer tweeted that he has talked with the Seahawks and that “What the team will do is a powerful sign of unification + respect for the Anthem + those that fight for our Freedom!”
Baldwin said Wednesday that he was considering joining Lane in protest while Wagner indicated that whatever the Seahawks may do will be done as a team. Seahawks players who were asked Thursday about a potential demonstration declined to say anything about it.
Free safety Earl Thomas cut off a question about Baldwin’s tweet and said, “I can’t speak for Doug when it comes to stuff like that. That’s Doug. You gotta ask Doug.” Asked then if there have been any more discussions in Seattle’s locker room about it, Thomas said, “I haven’t heard. Nobody told me anything. I don’t know.”
Defensive end Cliff Avril and quarterback Russell Wilson, who spoke before Baldwin’s tweet, also avoided questions about a possible demonstration, both trying to steer the conversation toward the Seahawks’ season opener against Miami.
Said Avril: “I don’t know what other guys are doing, but I do know we’re here to talk about the Dolphins, so that’s what we’re going to do today.”
Said Wilson: “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.”