There was no discussion of football Monday when the Seahawks held a virtual team meeting.
Instead, coach Pete Carroll gave his players the floor to talk about what was unfolding around them in society, their experiences, and their fears.
“Coach Carroll is very aware of the things that are going on, so today we did not speak about football, we focused on what was going on in the world,” linebacker Bobby Wagner said, via the team’s official website. “We gave anybody the opportunity to express their feelings, express their emotions and express their anger. Because at the end of the day, life is bigger than football. There’s a lot of things that are happening that are bigger than football, so [Carroll] provided an opportunity for guys to speak about the things they saw, the things they’re dealing with, what it’s like in the city that they’re in, . . .
“I think it’s dope, because a lot of people don’t get to express those emotions, those feelings, and to have a platform and to have a situation where we could do that, it was great. It’s bigger than football.”
It certainly is that.
Wagner described his own frustrations at watching the video of the death of George Floyd last week, and the scene at a weekend protest in Seattle. He said everything was peaceful at that demonstration until a white man threw and object at a police officer.
“Obviously the stuff that has gone on the past week, especially the past few days, has been crazy,” Wagner said. “Like many in the black community, I’m hurt, sad, in pain that we had to watch another video of a black man being murdered. Watching him gasp and try to get air and say to the cop, ‘I can’t breathe,’ and basically ask him for life, that’s not something you get used to. So I want to say I support the protestors. I understand the message, I understand what’s going on, what’s happening. . . .
“Report the peaceful side of the protests as well. Report the people that are doing good, because there’s a lot of people doing good out there. There’s a lot of people that want to see the world change and don’t want to see the world like this anymore… I just urge everybody to educate themselves, urge everybody to figure out what we can do to make this better. I don’t have all the answers. I’m hurting, I’m pissed off like everybody else, I’m tired like everybody else and I want to see something different, but it’s going to take some leadership. We don’t have that leadership right now.”
Wagner also talked to reporters on a video conference about the importance about sharing the messages of peace, rather than focusing on the violence that ensued from some protests, as he hopes to find a greater meaning in what he’s seeing around him every day.