San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started the trend when he sat out the national anthem in late August.
And it now appears to be translating across the league, including the possibility of the entire Seattle Seahawks team doing the same before the regular-season opener on Sunday, September 11 (the 15th anniversary of the attacks on New York and Washington).
Cornerback Jeremy Lane joined Kaepernick's protest ahead of the Seahawks' final preseason game, which led to wideout Doug Baldwin and linebacker Bobby Wagner considering the same, via Seattle Times:
"I have (considered it)," Baldwin said before Seattle's practice Wednesday afternoon. "I want to make sure I get all of my ducks in a row before I do so.''
While Wagner said he didn't know if he would sit down during the anthem he said "anything we want to do, it's not going to be individual. It's going to be a team thing. That's what the world needs to see. The world needs to see people coming together versus being individuals."
While Kaepernick's stance has been meant to face oppression and e's clarified that his sitting or kneeling has been in no way a response toward the military, the first weekend of NFL games landing on that specific date is already being discussed. And it likely will continue to be a subject of conversation within the Seahawks locker room.
Kaepernick's response after his decision to sit drew criticism was swift:
"I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color," he said. "To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder."
The NFL replied to the controversy with a statement, saying ""Players are encouraged but not required to stand during the playing of the National Anthem."
Other high-profile athletes like LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony have spoken out against what they perceive as racial and social injustice. Following the police shooting deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile in July, which were captured on video resulting in nationwide protests and demonstrations, Anthony reached out to fellow athletes on social media, urging them to "step up and take charge" of the political environment. As has NBA star Dwayne Wade, whose cousin was fatally shot by a stray bullet Friday as she pushed a baby stroller near a school on Chicago's South Side.
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