Ahead of this afternoon’s game between Seattle and Tennessee, the Seahawks’ players released perhaps the strongest statement yet from an NFL team about social justice. In a statement attributed to “the players of the Seattle Seahawks,” the team explains its decision to stay off the field and not participate in the national anthem.
“We will not stand for the injustice that has plagued people of color in this country. Out of love for our country and in honor of the sacrifices made on our behalf, we unite to oppose those that would deny out most basic freedoms,” the statement reads.
The Titans, too, were not on the field for the playing of the national anthem, though the statement released by the team was a little more terse. Here it is in its entirety:
“As a team, we wanted to be unified in our actions today. The players jointly decided this was the best course of action. Our commitment to the military and our community is resolute and the absence of our team for the national anthem shouldn’t be misconstrued as unpatriotic.”
Even without the participation of either team, the anthem was still performed in Nashville, though there was one more protest in the cards. Following the lead of Detroit’s Rico LaVelle, singer Meghan Linsey and her guitarist both took a knee at the conclusion of their performance.