RENTON, Wash. — Seahawks?cornerback Richard Sherman said Wednesday he’s “incredibly proud” of how Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson reacted over the weekend to President Donald Trump’s criticism of NFL players who protest during the national anthem.
Sherman told MMQB.com that Wilson had an “epiphany of sorts” when he learned of Trump’s comments and that he was prepared to sit or kneel during the national anthem on Sunday. Sherman was struck by Wilson, as a star quarterback, taking a stronger stance on the issue than he had previously taken.
“At times in this league, the quarterbacks are looked at differently, obviously, for various reasons. They touch the ball every play, a lot of times they’re the most recognizable names and faces on the team, and they have certain brands to protect in a way and certain images to uphold,” Sherman said. “You understand that. You understand that as players, that you don’t hear about the biggest-name players in our league [taking strong stances] until recently. Obviously, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers have both spoken on the issue since, but they’re very cautious about what they say and what they do.
“I think that [Wilson] opening up and understanding that this was a bigger issue and that it will have an effect on not only on him, but his family and his kids, kind of woke him up. I think that’s awesome. I think that he was very human, he was very vulnerable talking to the team, and I think that was a huge moment for him. And I was incredibly proud of him.”
The Seahawks met for several hours on Saturday to discuss what action they would take as a team in response to Trump’s comments. The Seahawks and Tennessee Titans both decided to not participate in the national anthem prior to their game on Sunday in Nashville, instead remaining in their respective locker rooms.
According to the MMQB story, Wilson had advocated a stronger form of protest than standing and locking arms as a team during the anthem, which the Seahawks did all of last season.
“He was just giving his suggestions about what he thinks we can do as a team together, and we supported what he said,” Sherman said Wednesday. “But obviously, there are 53 guys on the team, probably a hundred or so, if you include coaches and practice squad, et cetera, et cetera, so we had to do something that made everybody comfortable.”
Before Sunday, Seahawks defensive lineman Michael Bennett had sat on the bench during the national anthem since the start of the…