As a protest of the “injustice that has plagued people of color in this country,” the Seattle Seahawks chose not to come on the field for the singing of the national anthem at their Sunday NFL game in Tennessee.
Across the league, players and staff showed their frustration with persistent racism in the United States and defiance of President Donald Trump with an array of different gestures that included outright abstentions from the anthem, kneeling while it played, and locking arms in solidarity.
In the Seahawks’ match against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, the home team also was absent from the field during the anthem. The squad did so, however, not to protest racism but to avoid a situation in which players would not be “unified,” a statement issued by the “Titans organization” said.
“Our commitment to the military and our community is resolute and the absence of our team for the national anthem shouldn’t be misconstrued as unpatriotic,” according to the statement.
Meghan Linsey, who sang the national anthem, got down one knee at the end of her rendition.
The Seahawks, by explicitly saying they wanted to take a stand against racism, made their action perhaps the most dramatic one yet on Sunday.
“We will not stand for the injustice that has plagued people of color in this country,” the players said in a statement. “Out of love for our country and in honor of the sacrifices made on our behalf, we unite to oppose those that would deny our most basic freedoms. We remain committed in continuing to work towards equality and justice for all.”
In a further show of unity, the Seahawks entered the stadium in small rows, with the players interlocking their arms.