The Seahawks recognize Sunday is 9-11. One of their team leaders says they are going to “honor the country and flag” that day.
Seattle’s No. 1 wide receiver tweeted that just before he and his team went out to practice Thursday for Sunday’s season opener at Miami.
That leaves open through ambiguity the possibility teammate Jeremy Lane will follow through on what he said Monday, that he will continue to sit during the pregame National Anthem as he did last week before the preseason finale at Oakland to protest racial inequality in the United States.
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Or, if “the pregame demonstration of unity” to which Baldwin referred on Thursday truly is 53 guys as one, Lane may not sit during the anthem.
Once practice began, about a dozen folks wearing New York Harbor Patrol and NY Paramedic T-shirts walked out to watch the Seahawks practice. They are members of New York’s fire department and police department that are on their way to participating in a 9-11 memorial ceremony at the Peace Arch on the Washington/Canadian border along Interstate 5 north of Seattle.
Wednesday Baldwin spoke at length about the merits of protests such as Lane’s, which followed what San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick did last month during anthems before preseason games.
Baldwin said the 15th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks on the U.S. being on the day the league is opening its regular season -- it also has the Carolina-Denver opener Thursday night -- should be a consideration for any NFL player considering a protest during the National Anthem on Sunday.
"Absolutely," Baldwin said.
"I think that anybody should be thinking about that -- even if it wasn’t September 11th. The point of the protest is to get people to think. And I think it’s very ironic to me that 15 years ago, September 11th, 2001, one of the most devastating times in U.S. history, after that day we were probably the most unified that we’ve ever been. And today, we struggle to see the unity.
"It’s very ironic to me that this date is coming up. It’s going to be a special day, a very significant day. But at the same time I think I’m looking forward to the many changes that we can make in this country to make better changes in our society."
Baldwin’s overriding theme Wednesday was the message was getting lost amid the national controversy about the platform and the messengers.
“The point is to bring attention and awareness to your protest. To bring attention to what’s going on. And that’s what I think the issue is here,” Baldwin said. “We are missing the message, in terms of, it’s not necessarily about the messenger. It’s not about the protest itself.”
Wednesday, teammate Bobby Wagner said whatever the Seahawks do Sunday before the game they will do it together.
“Anything that we are going to do is not going to be individually. It’s going to be as a team,” Wagner said.
“Honestly, as far as sitting for that, I don’t know what that really does. I think if we are going to do something, it has to be more, because that’s not going to change people that are doing the wrongs, that are doing the killings.
“I do appreciate it, because it has definitely opened up the conversations. But there is just so much more to be done.”
Teammates that spoke Thursday after Baldwin tweeted his plan, such as Cliff Avril and Earl Thomas, didn’t comment on what the Seahawks might do before Sunday’s game.
Apparently we’ll see what show of unity and honor Baldwin was tweeting about on Sunday just before the 1:05 p.m. kickoff.