Seahawks’ Russell Wilson on joining protests: ‘This is everybody’s situation’
Like other big-name NFL quarterbacks, Seattle Seahawks’ Russell Wilson is under near-constant scrutiny. But he isn’t letting that stop him from joining other players in speaking out against racism and inequality.
“This is everybody’s situation,” Wilson told reporters during a press conference Thursday. “This isn’t my situation, necessarily. This isn’t your situation. It’s everyone’s situation. That isn’t something we can take lightly or ignore or try to brush to the side. It’s something that we have to address. I don’t fear addressing it because I believe in it. I believe that love is the way. I really firmly believe in that. Unifying people and bringing people together and understanding that we are capable of finding a way to love better. If we can do that, I think that is how you bridge that gap. That is how you bring people together and I’m not going to shy away from that by any means.”
Wilson and his teammates opted to remain in the locker room during the national anthem Sunday in Tennessee. It was a statement, Pete Carroll said after the game, that Seahawks players felt they needed to make. A number of players around the league joined protests against inequality and racism, held silently during the national anthem. Just two days prior, President Donald Trump called for players participating in the protests to be fired.
Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman said Wilson was an active part of the discussion about how to make a statement Sunday, and said he was proud of the quarterback’s decision to speak up.
“At times in this league, the quarterbacks are looked at differently obviously for various reasons,” Shermain said. “Obviously, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers have both spoken on the issue since, but they’re very cautious about what they say and what they do. I think that him (Wilson) opening up and understanding that this was a bigger issue and that it will have an effect not only on him, but his family and his kids, kind of woke him up. I think that’s awesome; I think that he was very human, he was very vulnerable talking to the team, and I think that was a huge moment for him, and I was incredibly proud of him.”
Wilson isn’t yet sure how the Seahawks will handle the demonstration in Sunday night’s matchup against the Colts. While the team has not yet finalized a plan, Wilson would like to continue relaying the message of unity against racism and oppression.
“I was passionate about it because I am really more concerned about what is next for our future and for our future kids and what we are going to do with the people that are going to lead this world someday,” Wilson said. “I pray for my kids every day that when they go to school that racism isn’t a thing that stops them from going where they want to go. It’s not just my kids, it’s your kids, it’s everybody’s kids and I think that is really critical. That was on my heart, especially.”