As the Seahawks went through a mock game at CenturyLink Field, sports history was taking place in Florida.
In response to yet another police shooting of a Black man—Jacob Blake was shot seven times in the back by a police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Sunday—the Milwaukee Bucks elected not to take the court for their playoff game against Orlando. In a statement read by players, the Bucks said they are "calling for justice for Jacob Blake and demand the officers be held accountable."
Later, other NBA teams followed suit, with the Thunder and Rockets and Trail Blazers and Lakers all deciding to postpone their playoff matchups. WNBA teams also elected not to play Wednesday, as did Major League Soccer teams, Sounders FC included, and some Major League Baseball teams, including the Seattle Mariners.
After finishing their mock game and returning to the locker rooms, Seahawks players quickly began catching up on the historic events happening across sports, and Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, who has long been supportive of his players using their platforms to make a difference in the world outside of football, expressed his support for the movement the Bucks started.
"The fact that this occurred again with Jacob Blake (shot) in plain view, plain sight is just such a horrific thing that happened," Carroll said. "We talked about it again today with our guys just to try to give some moments to the thought of families and everybody that has to go through all this stuff.
"I heard Doc Rivers talking today, and Doc did a great job of stating that this is just ridiculous. I can't even imagine that this continues to happen. I don't know how somebody could ever do that under the circumstances and the awareness that everybody should have right now, but it continues to happen, so it continues to be a real problem. There's a lot of problems, but that's just one of the ones that just jumps out at us. So I really applaud those guys for taking the night, but that we all know that's not enough, it's just a statement, and what is important that everybody who is involved knows, it's what we do about it and what we keep doing to straighten things out and get things right. This whole thing is ridiculous, and anybody that doesn't recognize that just isn't paying attention."
The start of the NFL season is still more than two weeks away, so Carroll nor anyone else involved knows what form of protests might take place when Week 1 games are scheduled to start, but he will remain supportive of his players using their voices in whatever ways they see fit.
"You know, anything is possible," Carroll said when asked if it's possible that NFL teams could elect to not play games. "I mentioned to the players, this the season of protest. So we'll handle ourselves as we do. But this is a protest that doesn't have an end to it until all the problems go away, and we solve issues and stuff. So we're going to do our part and continue to work to stay actively involved and continue to stay in touch with the situations that are going on by staying on the topics, just in hopes that we can be there to help and support when we can and have influence where we can. The whole Black Lives Matter thing couldn't be more obvious how true this whole movement is, and how much focus and change needs to come. It's just so clear. I hope we can do something to help.
"The one thing we're not, is we're not numb to it. We're in tune, the guys are feeling it, it's topical, and we know that we have to do something. Like everybody that cares on the right side of this whole issue, you worry that you can't do enough, you worry that you can't be effective enough to create the change that we need. So we'll continue to stay on it and continue to talk and do what we can."
Carroll also discussed Senator Cory Booker taking part in Tuesday night's team meeting, calling it a "big evening" for his team as Booker talked with players about the power athletes have to affect change.
"We had a really nice visit last night with Cory Booker, he visited with our team, and he helped us with a number of areas just trying to find the understanding and the potential for the change, and the thinking that's so important for us to stay with it," Carroll said. "He emphasized to us that everybody has a voice now, everybody can speak out and the guys can have an effect on the people who follow them and watch them. Everybody has social media, every one of our guys has a big following, to some extent, and so they have people that care what they think about. And so he urged us to really think about what we want to say to those people, and know that we do have the power to have effect. It was really, really a big evening for us, and there will be more to come."