The Milwaukee Bucks and the rest of the NBA cancelled its games on Wednesday while the Seahawks were in the middle of their second mock game. The move, of course, was in protest of the Jacob Blake shooting in Kenosha, Wisc.
Word of the NBA’s decision rippled through the Seahawks sideline during the second half of the scrimmage. After the fact, both Pete Carroll and Shaquill Griffin addressed the matter.
“The fact that this occurred again, with Jacob Blake, in plain view, in plain sight, is just horrific,” Carroll said.
Carroll mentioned Doc Rivers’ poignant comments from after the Clippers win over the Mavericks on Tuesday night.
“This whole thing is ridiculous, and anybody who doesn’t recognize that isn’t paying attention,” Carroll said. “The whole Black Lives Matter thing couldn’t be more obvious – how true this whole movement is and how much focus and change needs to come. Hopefully we can do something to help.”
And there lies the question. What is next for the Seahawks? A protest during the national anthem was almost assuredly coming back to the forefront in 2020 anyway. But is it possible that Seattle, or another NFL team, could make a move similar to what happened on Wednesday in the NBA?
“Anything is possible,” Carroll said. “We’ll handle ourselves as we do. This is a protest that doesn’t have an end to it until all the problems go away and we solve the issues and stuff. We’re going to do our part to work and stay actively involved.”
Carroll noted that US Senator Cory Booker joined the Seahawks team meeting Tuesday night. Players asked him questions about the issues of racial injustice and what they can do to help. Carroll met Booker a few months ago while the senator was in Seattle. The two stayed in touch, which led to him being a special guest in the meeting.
The biggest and most exhausting hurdle is figuring out how to pivot from creating awareness to helping enact change.
“It’s tough, too, because you’re trying to figure out ways to help but still do your job and doing it the correct way, so it’s tough,” Griffin said after the scrimmage. “Everything we do has to be a unit, and we have to show unity. It’s a tough subject, and right now we’re still trying to figure it out.”
This feels like the beginning of a revolution, one in which sports has become the catalyst. The Seahawks role in it (and they will have one) will be calculated, well thought out and, hopefully, part of what eventually becomes a solution to the social injustices in this country.