ESPN confirms existence of Seattle locker-room divide, in unusual way


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.

85 responses to “ESPN confirms existence of Seattle locker-room divide, in unusual way

  1. As an educated, suburban living, grew up upper middle class black guy, I can not start to tell you how much this issues bothers me. Keep being yourself Russell, not what others want you to be or think you need to be.

  2. If a black man holds it against another black man for not being “black enough” — that’s as racist as a white man holding it against a black man that he’s not white enough.

    Lots of double standards these days — some groups of people can get away with blatant racism, and some lose their jobs over the feintest hint of racsim. The pendulum has swung too far the other way now.

  3. Mike Freeman is a hack that makes up news. He didn’t get that info from anyone. He even says in the story that these are HIS feelings. He only added the “it’s backed up by…” to give credence to his own theories. Anyone that consistently reads Freeman’s content knows this is all he does. He even adds the disclaimer “again, this will be denied” at least three times in his story to cover himself.

    That guy lost all credibility after he was fired for his fake resume.

  4. Black enough? I’m sorry. We can’t be who we are? Without someone using the black-o-meter against me. Smh- when we start to judge our own people based on these kinds of things then we take huge steps backwards.

    I better go test my blackness… Not my skin or who I am but, my blackness. Maintain the status quo.

  5. The media is now its own watchdog. I guess that’s only a bad thing when the NFL purportedly engages in the practice. Gasbags indeed.

  6. If someone says someone is “not black enough”, what are they? Racist. They are saying that person has too much of another color and that ain’t right. They are looking at only one thing, color of someone skin. Is that what we are suppose to be above, not concerned with someone’s color?

  7. While wondering if there’s a divide at ESPN is as exciting as watching paint dry. I’d say if there is a divide in Seattle’s locker room over Wilson, most of those not on Wilson’s side will find their way out of Seattle eventually. Because Russell isn’t going anywhere.

  8. As an eagle it’s nice to see this happen to another team and kind of reassure that Chip wasn’t crazy by getting rid of Desean. Sadly Seahawks fans no matter what you tell yourself you will do exactly what Eagle fans have done all year and think what if, even if he wasn’t as productive and is injury prone.

  9. Seriously.

    Don’t test his character, what he is and has achieved.

    The fact that he is probably a role model for thousands of kids.

    Successful and intelligent.

    But his blackness… This is so stupid.

  10. A few big name college programs are going to be looking for a head coach next year…

    Just putting it out there.

  11. “not black enough”???!!!!

    I don’t even want to go there with what that potentially means to that locker room… but c’mon man.

    Just maybe, what “black enough” should mean is being intelligent, preserving in the face of adversity, hard-working, articulate, honest, talented, highly decorated, giving and humble…. Based on those characteristics – Yes, Wilson is indeed black enough!

    Okay, so I went there… 🙂

  12. I don’t think Manning, Rodgers, Brady or Brees are black enough either, but their lockroom seems to embrace them. Why are we trying to make this a race issue anyway?

  13. What a bunch of utter nonsense. This is exactly what they needed to get back that “us against the world” mentality, this group of guys needs to be an underdog, not a praised front runner. The hunted are now the hunters again.

  14. And some blacks think us white people are racist.
    Lets move on from all of racism…together people…

  15. C’mon Seahawks get your stuff together so you can smash the Donkies in the Super Bowl again. Since my Raiders aren’t gonna make it watching the Broncos get embarrassed in front of the world is the next best thing.

  16. The national insiders, for the most part, report what they are told to report (regarding individual teams). If they are told to report “all is well” even when it’s not, they will report all is well.

    Remember, none of these insiders reported Percy Harvins actions over the last year+ up to his release. After his release, all of a sudden, the “insiders” had all this information on how Harvin was a bad team mate.

    On the other side of the coin, the “insiders” now have all this information that Wilson is a choir boy who took Harvin to church on sunday and was his big brother watching out for him and that the rest of the players are one unified bunch of god fearing players who look to Wilson to lead them from on high.

    The team may be pushing the narrative but it’s the media who swallows.

  17. Enough already!!!!! The Seahawks are NOT falling apart…they’re being systematically dismembered by the press. Seattle beat the crap out of NFL’s media darlings in the Super Bowl and it looks like they still haven’t been forgiven. The Seahawks are the World Champs!! Get over it already.

  18. As an educated, suburban living, grew up upper middle class black guy, I can not start to tell you how much this issues bothers me. Keep being yourself Russell, not what others want you to be or think you need to be….

  19. Success breeds contempt. These guys may be too young and immature to be a dynasty. If they’re worried about how “black” their QB is then their headed to ending their season before the playoffs.

  20. >>And some blacks think us white people are racist.

    Newsflash – the existence of racist black people doesn't automatically refute the existence of racist white people.

    I would really love for one of these team mates to go on record with exactly WHAT makes Wilson "not black enough".

  21. This incident or lack of being incident, shows most of us the media hasn’t a clue of NFL locker room protocol. Its not for sports media consumption. This stuff normally stays private,,,this incident or lack of, could spell doom for the Sea Hawks season which would be a shame, but another feather in the medias lopsided cap,,,,

  22. DO NOT pay attention to the man behind the curtin…

    Pete “The Cheat” Carroll has this TOTALLY under control. Yeah, just sayin.

    Talk about not being able to handle success, this will be a great case study in a couple years.

  23. Seems like his team mates really respect Wilson.
    Golden Tate sleeps with his wife and Percy Harvin doesn’t think he’s black enough. And now the PR machine is out in full force selling Wilson as some sort of Christ figure. *sigh*

    By this time next year we’ll be wondering how we all have could have been so blind.

  24. Its funny when you losing your locker room is divided or you want a new Coach, the bottom line is these guys have to go out there and play like they havent done anything and be hungry, no first downs in the 3rd quarter against the Cowboys dont have nothing to do with a team divided its bad play!

  25. I don’t watch ESPN. Everyones Sports Person Network is too sensational for me. Go Screw Espn, because you are not in FAVOR of football the way you try to appear!

  26. Totally knew this type of thing is reality. I am not in the least bit surprised that some players feel this way, just surprised that the media let it out.

  27. So, was Harvin cut because he was “too black”. I’m sure that thought would be considered racist.

    If you look at things from a racial perspective, you are closer to being a racist than you think you are.

    This whole scenario is stupid, whether true or not.

  28. The problem with this is it requires us to suspend disbelief and accept the fact that there’s someone inside the Seattle locker room who thinks that they’d be better off with Tavaris Jackson playing QB.

    I don’t think even Tavaris Jackson thinks that.

  29. I said it over and over last year. Seattle has never struck me as a team that could handle success. Way too many immature, selfish players on that squad. Throw hundreds of millions in their bak accounts and it actually makes it worse.

  30. “Not black enough?” Really? People care about that?

    I am no fan of the Seahawks, but man, Russell Wilson is an AMAZING QB. I will watch ANY game with that man QB’ing.

    Who cares if he is “black enough?”

    And “black enough” for what, exactly?

  31. Harvin should kiss his ring every day for the rest of his life and thanks Russell and the rest of the team for carrying his worthless ass to the only SB he will ever see

  32. there are logical reasons from the past that african americans are suspicious of other african americans who for whatever reason are considered more sympathetic to the majority than to persons of their own race. history is littered with examples of oppressed groups of people having members of their group collaborate in some way with those oppressing their brothers.

    in the day, some folks passed as white to enjoy a life freer from the discrimination they would have faced if thought to be non-white.

    other people were uncle toms who betrayed their fellows to obtain some better treatment.

    anyway, the point is that racial attitudes are well ingrained. the logic of someone not being “black enough” was a result of the racist treatment endured, and the understandable ill will toward those who lessened that treatment by selling out to the majority.

    its only been 50 yrs since the civil rights act, and there was a long history building up these attitudes. hopefully a couple generations from now we will have moved beyond them. but certainly there are plenty of folk of all races that haven’t yet gotten there. and my guess is that by the time white folk stop treating black folk differently, black folk will have stopped judging each others blackness….

  33. Wow! This locker room is so divided, good luck on finding yourself back to the playoffs. Maybe it’s time to conjure up the spirits of Johnnie Cochran, sit around a camp fire and sing Kumbaya. Just a thought.

  34. This is dumb that someone isn’t “black enough”. The real divide in the locker room is between those that want to get better, and those those that think they are already great and the refs are in the way, or I don’t get the ball enough, or whatever crappy excuse you can make. I hate the Seahawks, but RW is playing very well, and when they lose takes the blame first. Last week he went out of control, and lost, and his reaction was that he needed to do better.

    There are guys on this team that want to earn another ring, and there are some that think Godell should just cancel the season and mail them the trophy. This is the true division in the locker room, but it isn’t an interesting story.

  35. It’s amusing to me how incredibly biased a reporter Mike Florio is. This is the same guy that spent the entire offseason and most of the regular season so far shamelessly and often incorrectly reporting every bit of off-the-field drama regarding the 49ers that he could dig up, and yet here he is trying to downplay Seahawk drama. What a surprise. This guy is so clearly a fan of the Seahawks that his attempts to appear objective don’t even begin to ring true. There are OBVIOUSLY problems in the Hawks locker room, just like there are obviously issues with Harbaugh and the Niners.

  36. The only reason that Harvin was traded was because John Schneider realized that he paid too much for Harvin’s contribution. When Harvin refused to go back into the Cowboy game in the 4th quarter, that was a nail in the coffin for Harvin (along with all his fights with teammates, and 2 previous refusal to go back into the games). By getting rid of Harvin, the drama queen, Schneider save money to pay Wilson and some other players he wants to keep in the off season.

  37. That has to be one of the dumbest things I have ever heard… black enough. Wasn’t that same charge of “Black Enough” laid on RG3 too?

    Most of this is admitted speculation on the part of the new reporters. Florio commented that “We get to speculate on this issue because the Seahawks have bee so good at keeping things quiet…”

    Here is a good social test, sit next to someone you work with, start asking them why they are so upset. Or ‘how to help you when you are upset’.
    If you continue to ask them regardless of the answer, eventually they will become upset.

    The same is true here, the media is generating drama from speculation.

  38. I am not sure who has the “Black-O-Meter” set up in the Seahawks locker room or organization, but I would very much like it isn’t tossed out (regardless of whom it may be) at the first opportunity.

    We want a football “Win-O-Meter” which measures each employee for effort, talent, character, and commitment to the organization. Race is not a measurement taken by the “Win-O-Meter.”

  39. ESPN, the network that informed us of Michael Sam’s shower habits, has now informed us that some Seahawks players wish Russell Wilson would be “blacker.” I’m glad ESPN is there to bring us the news that really matters.

  40. I’m a Niner fan and I hate the seahawks. But the way the league is trying to get their golden boy peyton manning the ring before he retires sickens me. Of course, I rather see Niners go into the superbowl but if the seahawks play broncos again, I’ll be rooting for the seahawks. I can’t stand the way everyone props up peyton every year during regular season. Everyone knows he’s a regular season stud, but playoff DUD.

  41. sounds like wilson has issues hes trying to cover uphes one of the main players im sure he had something to do with harvin gettin the boot! doesnt matter harvins nothin but trouble ask the vikings and the jets are about tofind out good riddance!

  42. webb383 says:
    Oct 24, 2014 4:21 PM
    sounds like wilson has issues hes trying to cover uphes one of the main players im sure he had something to do with harvin gettin the boot! doesnt matter harvins nothin but trouble ask the vikings and the jets are about tofind out good riddance!


    Stay in school, kids!

  43. seattlesue427 says: Oct 24, 2014 9:15 AM

    Enough already!!!!! The Seahawks are NOT falling apart…they’re being systematically dismembered by the press. Seattle beat the crap out of NFL’s media darlings in the Super Bowl and it looks like they still haven’t been forgiven. The Seahawks are the World Champs!! Get over it already.

    You might want to log onto one of the many Raven support groups. Google “in Ozzie we trust” or “Flacco is elite”. Having never had to deal with success we realize that you deserve pity. That’s the last SB in your lifetime chum. The crash is hardest when you’re not even competitive the season after and just gets worse when you cling to what once was and not current reality. Denver got better and came back stronger while Seattle sat basking in the overblown hype that is the LOB. Truth.

  44. How ridiculous it is that guys getting paid millions to play a game can’t just be professionals and do their jobs. I’d ship ’em all out w/Harvin if they’re too stupid to appreciate the QB who got ’em a ring !

  45. Don’t believe any of these reporters! They are all idiots just trying to make a name for themselves and their “sources” aren’t any more reliable than they are!
    Wilson isn’t black enough???? Lol, maybe they meant he’s the only black QB in the NFL that’s actually a legit QB. He is a pocket passer! Worth 5 times anything Griffin could EVER dream of becoming.

  46. its more of the way Seattle has handle the trade of harvin that has split the locker room. Give up a lot to get him and then lose out on resigning Tate and Browner, Because how much you paid harvin. Then turn around and trade Harvin to one of the worst teams in football in spite of getting little or nothing in return. This is why the players are upset. Wilson is the one who forced this trade and that’s why they are upset with him. Seattle could have put Percy on the inactive list and tried to works it out and if they couldn’t work it out. Leave him on the list and trade him after the season when all teams will be under the cap and you can get the most out of a trade. Wilson forced this trade by a me or him traden

  47. Nauseating…..Ignorant and myopic…..petty and crass….If this is how it is, maybe its time for me to go outside and play on Sundays…

  48. Amazing………..I know a couple guys in the Seahawk LR & they say this is all a fabrication of the media. Of course no one should believe me either.

    Bottom line…….no news. When they get healthy they’ll be tough to beat.

  49. good grief you mediots just cant get enough can you?

    Seattle has 7 players out for a formidable opponent Sunday in Caroline, THIS is why you don’t let go of players of Harvins caliber, he is the type that can bail you out when your team is in tatters..

    HUGE mistake letting go of Harvin and KARMA is going to let you know just HOW much of a mistake it was

    Hawks are upside down after Sunday and the Hawks are making ZERO moves to rectify the situation??

    they apparently were told it time to move on, get back in the cellar where you belong and thats that, the NFL and everyone else that runs that league are tired of hearing about the Seahawks and the 12s time to get back to some real football where the officials make sure losing teams get a first down off bogus flags so they can score..

    when are you people going to catch on, its so blatant even a cave man can understand what’s really going on in that league, after all the media rhetoric is gone and all the ranting is about the plowboys and the Donks yet another season everyone will be like oh yea since they got rid of Harvin they have been no good, never should have done that end of story..

    a dynasty built and demolished in 2 years


  50. I whole bunch of blather about nothing. “Not Black enough,” what a joke! Who does this come from — the ball boy? The picture I get here is of a sports media who just couldn’t wait to jump on the ‘Hawks.

    I’m sure there are divisions, as there would be on any team, but I seriously doubt it is over race. If anything, it may be that Russell is trying to do too much on his own, and possibly some resentment arose, especially since he has strong religious convictions which might rub some players the wrong way. But, Wilson isn’t going to anything because for him team unity is the most important thing, especially now that they find themselves in a hole. But, I well imagine this team will pull itself together and start playing better ball, like it did against Green Bay and Denver. Remember those wins?

  51. I hate the Seahawks and I don’t particularly like Russ Wilson. But when the media charge is led by Mike Freeman, everybody loses.

    Remember when people laughed at the National Enquirer? They’re a pinnacle of legitimacy compared to what we have now.

    Nobody should believe anything from the “media” these days unless it is sourced and comfirmed. Oh…or there’s a video proving it.

  52. The problem with Wilson is he seems to come off too self-important and takes his role as team leader too seriously in his verbage, and will sometimes come off as arrogant like he’s the God appointed “chosen one” or something.

    I’m guessing Wilson was condescending in how he offered help to Percy and Percy and other teammates probably didn’t like that. Wilson could use a touch of humility. But clearly the Seahawks knew that things would only get worse and one of them would have to go and figured they could afford to drop Percy while the season was still young.

  53. Troubling, I have taught my son not to use the words like black or the N-word even in anger and it’s okay for role models (I’m sure) to accuse another of not having enough color? Hmm, I guess the NFL must have some special color palette to obviously and conclusively determine one’s blackness? I think it’s more like this. Russell do you want to come over and we can smoke a blunt our get some strippers up in here

  54. To which Risk being a leader, chooses a path less traveled in the NFL, he chose to be an actual role model and so far so good Mr. Wilson keep up the good work.

  55. lol.

    RW “black enough” comment isn’t coming from him being “articulate” or raised in an “upper class” household.

    That’s just folk being simple.

    I guarantee you that no on the 49ers team is questioning if Kapernick is “black enough”
    and he is also mixed and was raised in middle class home with two white parents – is “articulate” and very smart.

    This comment is coming from a much different place and one that is too nuanced to explain here. But it is amusing watching so many white folk comment on something that they clearly no nothing about.

  56. I would guess it’s more about being one of the guys versus being a corporate kiss ass. Major problem throughout most workplaces in this country nowadays. It didn’t used to be okay to be a brown noser now it’s a disgusting plague

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