Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is owed a “tremendous amount” for protesting against police brutality four years ago, which since affected his career.
Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem before a game in 2016 as he started to take a stand against police brutality against African Americans and racial oppression in the United States. The quarterback has since been the topic of conversation in the league after the recent death of George Floyd.
The US has all 50 states, as well as other countries around the world, united in protesting 46-year-old Floyd, a black male, died after a white police officer in Minneapolis knelt on his neck for over eight minutes.
Kaepernick stood up for something he believed in, says Carroll
Kaepernick, who led the Niners to the Super Bowl in 2013, hasn’t played a game in the NFL since 2016. Carroll and the Seahawks were close to signing Kaepernick as a free agent in 2017, but decided against it after the former 49ers quarterback refused to stop kneeling during the national anthem.
Taking a knee during the national anthem has been brought up since Floyd’s death and what it is that people in all 50 states are protesting against is the same one Kaepernick did four years ago.
A number of current and former players and coaches have come out on social media in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Seahawks head coach Carroll spoke on a podcast and acknowledged that the 32-year-old took a knee for “something he believed in”.
"I think that there was a moment in time that a young man captured,” Carroll said on The Ringer’s Flying Coach podcast. “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".
"But what happened from the process is it elevated awareness from people that just took everything away from what the statement was all about, and it just got tugged and pulled and ripped apart. And the whole mission of what the statement was, it's still the statement that we're making right today", he added.
"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", he finished.