Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll has responded to President Donald Trump's suggestion that NFL owners should fire players who kneel during the national anthem. Trump also encouraged spectators to walk out in protest.
The statement from Carroll said:
"In this incredibly polarizing time, there’s no longer a place to sit silently. It’s time to take a stand. We stand for love and justice and civility. We stand for our players and their constitutional rights, just as we stand for equality for all people. We stand against divisiveness and hate and dehumanization. We are in the midst of a tremendously challenging time, a time longing for healing. Change needs to happen; we will stand for change. May we all have the courage to take a stand for our beliefs while not diminishing the rights of others as this is the beating heart of our democracy. As a team, we are united in a mission to bring people together to help create positive change. We can no longer remain silent. I will stand with our players."
The statement was released through Pete Carroll's Twitter account Saturday night:
In an extended riff during a freewheeling rally speech in Alabama on Friday night, Trump bemoaned that football games have become less violent.
"They're ruining the game," he complained.
After Trump made his remarks, Seattle Seahawks players took to social media to respond. See the responses embedded below.
“The behavior of the President is unacceptable and needs to be addressed,” Richard Sherman wrote. “If you do not Condemn this divisive Rhetoric you are Condoning it!”
Seahawks defensive lineman Michael Bennett responded Saturday afternoon.
"My mom is a beautiful lady she has never been a (expletive)," Bennett wrote.
His response comes after Trump said, "Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, you'd say, 'Get that son of a (expletive) off the field right now. Out! He's fired."
– The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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