As conversations around racial injustice and systemic racism continue across America, the Seattle Seahawks look to honor victims.
Throughout the 2020 NFL season, Seahawks players and coaches will show support for this social justice effort with helmet decals and hat patches.
The story of Emmett Till resonated with Seahawks wide receiver DK Metcalf as he grew up as a Black child in Mississippi. 14-year-old Till was murdered in Mississippi for allegedly flirting with a white woman in 2019.
"I chose Emmett Till, mainly because he was from Mississippi, I'm from Mississippi, and systematic racism has been going on for quite some time," Metcalf told John Boyle of Seahawks.com. "We're still talking about it today after 65 years, so it's still a big problem that we've got to fix."
Metcalf will honor Till for Seattle’s season opener wearing the name “Emmett Till” on the back of his helmet.
In addition to honoring victims of racism, Seahawks players and coaches will also display alternative phrases like “Black Lives Matter,”"End Racism," "It takes All of Us" and "Stop Hate."
During pregame warmups, players will wear shirts that read “We Want Justice,” as a part of a call to action organized by Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright.
"I'm really passionate about this, I'm really passionate about my people," Wright told Boyle. "To have this message out there, to have fans see it every day, to have my teammates embrace it, it's a powerful message. It's simple, it's clear, we just want justice, plain and simple."
For cornerback Shaquill Griffin, putting the words “Black Lives Matter,” on his helmet decal only felt right.
“We're fighting for something way bigger than us just being athletes," Griffin said. "We're asking for justice for something that's been happening for so many years. You tend to get fed up. You've been going through it for so long. Being able to wear that (We Want Justice) shirt, we've got to continue to use our platform and spread awareness that this has been happening for too long, and we're tired of it. Someone has to take a stand.… We won't be silenced.”
In addition to the social justice phrases, the Seahawks will honor these names this season:
Emmett Till, Fred Hampton, Marsha P. Johnson, Trayvon Martin, Walter Scott, Sandra Bland,Renee Davis, Mi'Chance Dunlap-Gittens, Tommy Le, Charleena Lyles, Giovonn Joseph-McDade, Trey Pringle, Antwon Rose II, Charles Roundtree, Iosia Faletogo, Jesse Sarey, Darius Tarver, Ahmaud Arbery, Manuel Ellis, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and Jacob Blake.
[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Seahawks Podcast with host Joe Fann and special guest Joel McHale]