Entire Seahawks D-line joins Michael Bennett in protest during anthem

Oct 1, 2017, 5:56 PM | Updated: 6:09 pm
Eight Seahawks players sat during the national anthem before Sunday's game vs. the Colts. (AP)...
Eight Seahawks players sat during the national anthem before Sunday's game vs. the Colts. (AP)

The Seattle Seahawks were on the field for the national anthem Sunday night, though nine players remained either seated or standing near their teammates in protest.

Seahawks players have previously explained their decision to remain seated, intended to silently demonstrate against racism and inequality. Seattle players earlier this week launched an equality action fund, a charity to “help build a more compassionate and inclusive society.”

Pete Carroll: Seahawks’ demonstration was ‘for the flag’

In addition to defensive end Michael Bennett, also sitting was the rest of the Seahawks’ defensive line: DE Frank Clark, DE Cliff Avril, DT Jarran Reed, DT  Sheldon Richardson, DT Nazair Jones, DE Marcus Smith and DT Garrison Smith. Linebacker Michael Wilhoite also joined, while center Justin Britt and right guard Oday Aboushi remained standing with arms on the shoulders of those seated.

Last week, both the Seahawks and their Week 3 opponent Tennessee Titans opted to remain in their respective locker rooms during the anthem in a demonstration of unity.

“That was a decision that the players were really hoping we could do and based on all of the concerns,” Carroll said Sept. 24. “So that’s just a statement that they felt they needed to make and I thought it was in a way, it wasn’t a demonstrative thing on the field, I think it was a classy way to demonstrate your dissent… I was proud of Mike, Mike wanted to do the same thing so we did that together and it was a statement that all the players wanted to make.”

Speaking with reporters last week, Carroll said he understands that there are fans who are upset with the protests, but he said the protest is not about disrespecting the flag, the country or the armed services; rather, it is about peacefully protesting to call attention to an inequality that should be acted on.

“It is not about that at all,” Carroll said. “It is about trying to get your feelings out and your ideas across and protests just by the nature of the word. Not everyone is going to agree, but that is why it is a protest. I think it is extraordinary that this is happening and I think it is a moment that we all can learn what we want to learn out of all of this.”

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Entire Seahawks D-line joins Michael Bennett in protest during anthem