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Seahawks coach says public owes ‘tremendous amount to’ Kaepernick for kneeling protests

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Peter Carroll, head coach of the Seattle Seahawks, on his podcast earlier this week praised former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who remains a free agent, for his kneeling protests, and said the public owes “a tremendous amount to him.” 

In Wednesday’s episode of the “Flying Coach” podcast, which Carroll hosts along with Golden State Warriors head coach Stephen Douglas Kerr, the Seattle coach said “the whole mission” behind Kaepernick’s protests is “still the statement that we’re making right today” following the recent death of George Floyd in police custody.

“We’re not protecting our people. We’re not looking after one another. We’re not making the right choices. We’re not following the right process to bring people to justice when actions are taken,” Carroll said. “So, I think it was a big sacrifice in the sense that a young man makes, but those are the courageous moments that some guys take. And we owe a tremendous amount to him, for sure.”

“He took a stand on something, figuratively took a knee, but he stood up for something he believed in — and what an extraordinary moment it was that he was willing to take,” he added. “But what happened from the process is it elevated awareness from people that just took everything away from what the statement was all about, and it just got tugged and pulled and ripped apart.” 

Kaepernick was the first NFL player to take a knee on the field during the national anthem before games to protest police brutality and racism in the country during the 2016 season. Though he was joined by a number of players during that season and those since, Kaepernick was often targeted as the face of the movement by President Trump and other conservatives who argued the demonstrations were unpatriotic. 

Kaepernick became a free agent at the end that season and hasn’t had a job in the league since. 

According to The News Tribune, the Seahawks had previously considered signing Kaepernick in 2017. However, the team, which already had quarterback Russel Wilson then, passed on the opportunity at the time, with Carroll reportedly saying: “He’s a starter in this league, you know. And we have a starter.” 

“Colin’s been a fantastic football player. And he’s going to continue to be. This time, we didn’t do anything with it,” Carroll also said at the time. “But we know where he is and who he is, and we had a chance to understand him much more so.”

The following year, ESPN published a story reporting that the team had contacted Kaepernick again to arrange a work out visit with the team. The sports network reported then, citing a league source, that the workout was later postponed after Kaepernick wouldn’t say whether he planned to discontinue his protests if signed. 

According to NBC Sports, Carroll later pushed back on the reporting, saying it had been “blown up.” 

Debate around Kaepernick’s kneeling protests has reignited over the past week as protests against police brutality and racial inequality continue around the world following Floyd’s death.

Floyd, an unarmed black man, died in Minneapolis last week after an officer knelt on his neck during an arrest. In now-viral footage of the moment, Floyd could be heard telling the officer he couldn’t breathe as the officer, who’s since been charged with second-degree murder, continued to kneel on his neck.

Tags Black Lives Matter Movement BLM Donald Trump George Floyd George Floyd death George Floyd protests I can't breathe National Football League controversies Police brutality in the United States San Francisco 49ers

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