The Seahawks have a divided locker room. Unless they don’t. Unless they do.
ESPN has advanced the ball on this topic in an unusual way. Appearing on SportsCenter and introducing Thursday’s sound from Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, anchor Kenny Mayne encroached on the turf of national insiders Chris Mortensen, Adam Schefter, Ed Werder, and roughly 17 or so others.
“Two sources — one inside the team, one outside of the underachieving 3-3 Seahawks — tell me that much of what was written in Mike Freeman’s Bleacher Report column is true,” Mayne said, apparently reading from carefully-crafted prompter copy. “[Freeman] wrote of turmoil involving since-traded Percy Harvin and the quarterback Russell Wilson that led to a more widespread internal battle pitting those for Russell Wilson and those against. And Freeman surmised on his own an issue among some teammates regarding Wilson that quote, he isn’t black enough. A certain expected behavior based on color, apparently. One of the sources told me, quote, I don’t know how he got all that stuff, but it’s pretty much true. We do have a divide. We’re working on it. Thursday that notion was not presented to Wilson, but over and again, questions came about Harvin’s departure.”
First, Freeman didn’t surmise on his own the question of whether Wilson is “black enough.” While Freeman chose not to share any specific quotes he had gathered directly from members of the organization, here’s what he said: “My feeling on this — and it’s backed up by several interviews with Seahawks players — is that some of the black players think Wilson isn’t black enough.” (Emphasis added.)
Second, the notion of a locker-room divide was presented to Wilson.
“There’s no division in our locker room,” Wilson told reporters. “There’s none at all. If anything, I think we’ve continued to build, continued to grow. I truly believe that. I think that the guys that we have in the locker room, the guys that believe that we can still go 1 and 0 and still be a championship team; those are the guys that we have sitting in this room every day. Every morning when we wake up, we’re looking for one common goal and that’s to win football games.”
Over the weekend, Mortensen attempted to shoot down “speculation” (it was more than speculation) of Harvin vs. Wilson by reporting that Wilson “actually wanted to help Percy Harvin with anger & trust issues,” and that the team — not Wilson — gave up on Harvin. Mayne’s words dispute the picture Mortensen painted.
Which possibly creates a (wait for it) divide in Bristol between the folks charged with gathering news and those with the responsibility of teeing up the news gatherers, talking over highlights, trying to be funny, and sometimes succeeding.