Kenny Easley waited 25 years to earn induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, so he was going to make the most of his allotted time behind the microphone.
Easley didn’t mention Colin Kaepernick by name, but the former Seahawks safety used a minute of his 21 minutes and 50 seconds to take a similar social stance as the former 49ers quarterback.
“Please allow me this opportunity and this moment for a very serious message for which I feel very strongly about,” said Easley, who went into the Hall as a seniors nominee. “Black lives do matter, and all lives matter, too. But the carnage affecting young black men today from random violence to police shootings across this nation has to stop. We’ve got to stand up as a country, as black Americans and fight the good fight to protect our youth and our American constitutional right not to die while driving or walking the streets black in America. It has to stop, and we can do it, and the lessons we learn in sports can help.”
Easley, 59, long faced comparisons to Ronnie Lott, who entered the Hall in the Class of 2000. Easley continued the debate on stage.
“I’m going to settle it now publicly and for good,” Easley said. “In the last 30 years, there has no better thumper, ball-hawking, fiercely competitive or smarter defensive back in the NFL than Ronnie Lott. He was the best. There, it’s settled and because I said so.”
Easley also thanked Seahawks owner Paul Allen, who ended the franchise’s 15-year estrangement with Easley’s Ring of Honor induction.
“I believe in the old adage: Water runs downhill,” Easley said, “and thus winning starts at the top, and you have run a great organization with a terrific head coach in Pete Carroll. How about the Seahawks back to the Super Bowl in 2018?”