FILE PHOTO: Sep 1, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) throws a pass before the game against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports / Reuters
Picture Supplied by Action Images
Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said it took too long for the NFL to recognize Colin Kaepernick taking a stand when he took a knee during the national anthem.
“I think that there was a moment in time that a young man captured. He took a stand on something, figuratively took a knee, but he stood up for something he believed in — and what an extraordinary moment it was that he was willing to take,” Carroll said as a guest on the podcast of Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr and San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich.
Kerr, who has been an outspoken activist on issues of national interest, agreed wholeheartedly.
“To me, it’s really hard to look at what’s going on right now with all the violence and the protests and not look back to four years ago and say, ‘Look, this guy was trying to peacefully protest and nothing came of it,” Kerr said. “The killings went on and nothing changed and he was actually ridiculed so it’s a real tough one to think about.”
Kaepernick remains unsigned and reached a settlement with the NFL to set aside his lawsuit for collusion to keep him out of the league. The Seahawks were one of the few teams who talked contract with Kaepernick during his time as a free agent. But Kaepernick said Seattle’s interest was overblown, and he refused to meet the team’s request to promise not to kneel during the national anthem.
“And the whole mission of what the statement was, such a beautiful,” Carroll said. “It’s still the statement that we’re making right today. We’re not protecting our people. We’re not looking after one another. We’re not making the right choices. We’re not following the right process to bring people to justice when actions are taken. So I think it was a big sacrifice in the sense that a young man makes, but those are the courageous moments that some guys take.
“And we owe a tremendous amount to him for sure.”
“We have to go beyond and act and take the action and it’s going to be a challenge for people. I feel frustrated I’m not doing enough,” Carroll said. “I’m not on it enough. I can’t get active enough to create the change. I think we need to make progress, not just change.”
—Field Level Media