Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said “we owe a tremendous amount” to Colin Kaepernick for protesting against racial inequality and police brutality.
(Even if, as it turns out, Carroll decided that he didn’t owe Kaepernick a job.)
Carroll made the remarks during a podcast with NBA coaches Steve Kerr and Greg Popovich.
“I think that there was a moment in time that a young man captured. 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,” Carroll said on The Ringer’s Flying Coach podcast, via Nick Friedell of ESPN.com. “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, such a beautiful . . . it’s still the statement that we’re making right today. 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.”
Kaepernick’s taking a knee during the national anthem came up during a conversation between the coaches about George Floyd, who died when a police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes, triggering nights of protests across the country.
Carroll may have come closer to providing Kaepernick a chance to continue his career than any coach, bringing him in for a visit in 2017.
Ultimately, they never worked him out or signed him.