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Seahawks sidestep Clemons’ comments about gay players

Seahawks defensive end Clemons is given instructions from head coach Carroll

Seattle Seahawks defensive end Chris Clemons (91) is given instructions from head coach Pete Carroll during their NFL NFC wildcard playoff game against the Washington Redskins in Landover, Maryland January 6, 2013. REUTERS/Laurence Kesterson (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)


Last week, Seahawks defensive end Chris Clemons suggested that a gay player who chooses to expose his sexuality would be engaging in a selfish act that would divide the team.

Dominic Holden of The Stranger, a Seattle newspaper, has been trying to get a statement from the team in response to Clemons’ comments. On Tuesday, Holden got several.

We’re not going to comment,” Seahawks director of corporate communications Suzanne Lavender said. “You know, it’s just his personal view.”

Reminded that the 49ers aggressively denounced derogatory comments from cornerback Chris Culliver during Super Bowl week, Lavender explained the reason for the team’s silence. “We haven’t gotten that many fan comments so we are not going to make public comment,” she said.

As Holden sees it, Clemons has attempted to bully a gay player into remaining closeted, and the Seahawks “are being complicit by being silent.” After Holden posted his initial item on the subject, Lavender complained that the article “mischaracterized” the team’s position. She eventually agreed to email Holden a statement.

“The Seahawks organization is guided by overall principles of acceptance and understanding that help us create a culture of respect, equality and inclusiveness both on and off the field,” the statement reads. “It is our goal to use these core principles and our commitment to passion, character and excellence to empower change within our community. We, as an organization and as individuals, represent and respect a wide range of human differences, personal experiences and cultural backgrounds. We have already begun to follow-up with every fan that contacted us earlier today.”

The statement avoids the question of whether the Seahawks agree or disagree with Clemons’ statements; indeed, it comes off as a more verbose version of, “You know, it’s just his personal view.”

Holden has once again articulated specific questions on the subject that the Seahawks have not yet answered. Whatever the answer may be, it’s only fair for Holden to keep asking until the Seahawks provide a direct answer to the question of whether the organization agrees or disagrees with the things Clemons said.

UPDATE 11:08 p.m. ET: Not long after our story posted, Lavender responded to Holden’s question. “We don’t agree with what [Clemons] said,” Lavender said.