Events of the past week elicited an outpouring of emotion-laden statements from local athletes on social media.
The Seahawks were no exception.
Among current and former Seahawks who voiced public support for efforts to bring attention to the need for change in the wake of the death last week of George Floyd while in custody of Minneapolis police were quarterback Russell Wilson, receivers DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, offensive tackle Duane Brown, punter Michael Dickson and former receiver Doug Baldwin.
And the Seahawks also released a statement Monday stating the “Seahawks family is dismayed by the unacceptable act of violence that occurred against George Floyd last week.” The statement included a pledge that the Seahawks will begin determining how to distribute $500,000 in grants from the Seahawks Players Equality & Justice For All Action Fund with the hope of advancing conversation related to reformation in policies regarding hiring and training within law enforcement and for advanced education related to the history of race in America.
Wilson tweeted a statement Monday in which he wrote “We need true leadership. We need justice. We need equality.”
” … as I’ve been thinking about what to say, I realized there are no words that can alleviate the hurt and pain over the senseless deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and so many others.”
Wilson wrote that he fears for the lives of his two young children and a baby boy on the way, stating “we cannot continue to ignore racism as though it has ended, or never happened.”
Metcalf on Saturday posted a video that as of Monday had 104,000 views in which he said, “I’m lost for words right now,” while adding “to think being Black in America can lead to that, it scares me, it breaks my heart that my uncles could go out into the world today and that could be them and I wanted to say something, because if I didn’t then I felt like I would be supporting that and that’s not right. That’s totally not right.”
Brown referenced the weekend’s events several times on Twitter after also speaking passionately on the topic last week in a Zoom video call with reporters who cover the Seahawks, stating he did not think there had been any progress made in police efforts toward people of color.
“If you know the details of what happened (in Minneapolis), it’s a tragic situation,” Brown told reporters last week. “It’s just an awful situation — that could have been prevented. … I don’t know when it will change.”
Brown has been among the NFL players who have staged protests during the national anthem the past few seasons. Last year, Brown and teammates Quinton Jefferson and Branden Jackson stayed in the locker room during the anthem and took the field after it was completed.
Among Baldwin’s tweets was an answer to a question he said he received often.
“I keep getting asked by white people ‘what can I do?’ ” Baldwin wrote. “Well, for one, you can stop asking OTHERS what you should do and ask YOURSELF what you should do. Be empathetic. What would you do if that was your son, your brother, your husband, your father?
“And then, once you connect back with humanity, make a decision to act. Donate your time, your money, your intellectual ingenuity and your human spirit to make change. Don’t be complacent and complicit. And challenge others to not be either.
“Talk to your friends and family. Hold them and yourself accountable to being better people. And then, come November, vote people in power that exemplify the kind of compassionate leadership that is befitting of such a responsibility.”
Dickson tweeted: “Justice for George Floyd. Justice for the black community. It’s scary to think that there’s people out there justifying racist actions. It’s even more terrifying to think that there’s people in positions of power doing the same thing. RIP George Floyd.”
Lockett tweeted a list of movies and television shows he felt would be helpful “if you are white and want to learn a little about what we as (Blacks) have gone through. Take some time to watch
“Detroit -on Hulu
“When they see us — Netflix
“Feel free to add more movies so people can see. There’s a lot. But try to start somewhere.”