The Seahawks Are Protesting Social Injustice In A Completely Different Way: 'Unity'

Instead of taking a knee, the Seahawks are standing proud - and they want you to join to them.

On September 11, 2016, four of the Miami Dolphins knelt during the national anthem in a sign of silent protest against social injustice. The Seahawks, however, linked arms and presented to the world "a unified front."

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(Photo: Seahawks)

It was a decision the team didn't take lightly. They spent weeks discussing how best to make their statement, and even consulted with former NBA great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Dr. Harry Edwards, a sociologist who specializes in sports, family, race and ethnic relations. Finally, they knew what they had to do to accomplish their goal of building a bridge between people and communities of differing viewpoints, and they knew it had to start with them.

"It was on a unified front," receiver Doug Baldwin said. "We wanted to do something together as a team. The statement that we're making, is obviously we want to honor those lives that have been lost 15 years ago on this tragic day, and also honor those who have sacrificed their lives for the freedom that we cherish. But at the same time, we're standing for those lives that have fought for that freedom, we want to ensure that freedom and the security of justice for all people. It's a situation for us where you've heard us, the message is very clear, you've heard us, and now we're asking you to listen to our message. It's as simple as that."

The Seahawks are all about inspiring change. But they know they can't do it alone so they plan to meet with police chiefs across the state. The goal? Starting a discussion.

"There has to be change and progress," Baldwin said. "Change is inevitable, change will always happen, but you have to apply direction to change, and that's when there's progress. Right now what we're doing as a team, we have a follow through. The difference between a mob and a movement is a follow through. That's what Harry Edwards told us when he came and talked to us for three hours about a situation that's going in our country right now. He said the difference between a mob and a movement is a follow through. So our team is united together to have a follow through. At this very moment, we're scheduling meetings with the mayor of Seattle, with police chiefs across the state, and we're discussing ways to just start discussion. That's the first step, is to have communication. We need to know the perspective of other people. The greatest tragedy for any human being is going through their entire lives believing the only perspective that matters is their own. We need to break down those walls and barriers and get people to see that there's perspectives outside of their own eyes."

So what's next? How can the Seahawks squelch the noise and unite people of differing views? In order to build their proverbial bridge and inspire positive change, the team needs to help their community, and the world, move beyond their differences.

"Collaboration is one of the greatest things that a human being can do," said defensive end Michael Bennett. "To realize that people are different but we can still work together. In any community it's going to take everybody to build a bridge to build something great. Of course there's social injustice all along the NFL, all along the United States and we understand that. But we understand that that should be open to dialogue and people have to be able to listen, to be able to see what the change is. For us, we want to be able to build that bridge. The things that we already do in the community - it's not like we just started doing this, a lot of us have foundations, a lot of us are working in the community - but what we want to do is work well with the people all around. We need everybody to realize that just because somebody is different, it doesn't make you better than them, it just makes them a human being, and you've got to respect them and learn about them. We just want people to take the time to get to know somebody. Know their culture because when you know their culture, you understand that they're different and you respect that. That's what we want people to do, respect and try to change society."

While Miami Dolphins owner Steve Ross fully supports his players for taking a knee, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll supports his players for taking a stand.

"It was a statement they wanted to make, and it was not about football," Carroll said. "It was about other things, and I supported them on that 100 percent. I was proud of what was accomplished by the statement they made and what they stood for, and in terms of building that bridge, it could be a very significant thing they've done."

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