On Saturday’s news conference, Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll had a different message for the fans.
The team had the day off, so there was no practice to discuss. He wasn’t fielding questions either. Instead, he took 15 minutes to discuss racial inequality, a topic that has dominated the sports world for weeks.
He urged his fellow coaches to discuss uncomfortable topics, emphasized how important voting is, and maintained that white people just don’t understand what Black people have gone through in American history.
Carroll said: “(White people) need to be coached up and they need to be educated about what the heck is going on in the world. Black people can’t scream anymore, they can’t march any more, they can’t bear their souls anymore to what they’ve lived with for hundreds of years because white guys came over from Europe and started a new country with a great idea and great ideals and wrote down great writings and laws and all of that about democracy and freedom and equality for all. And then that’s not what happened, because we went down this road here and followed economics—rich white guys making money—and they put together a system of slavery, and we’ve never left it, really. It has never gone away.
“And Black people know the truth, they know exactly what’s going on. It’s white people who don’t know. It’s not that they’re not telling us; they’ve been telling us the stories. We know what’s right and what’s wrong, we just have not been open to listen to it. We’ve been unwilling to accept the real history. We’ve been taught a false history of what happened in this country, we’ve been basing things on false premises, and it has not been about equality for all, it has not been about freedom for all, it has not been opportunity for all, and it needs to be. This is a humanity issue we’re dealing with. This is a white people’s issue to get over and learn what’s going on and to figure it out and start loving everybody that is part of our country, and that want to our country, wherever they want to come from.”
Carroll’s team stated that all its players were registered to vote.
Jacob Blake’s shooting sparked racial tensions, and teams made their stand. The Milwaukee Bucks walked out on their game, which precipitated the shutdown of the NBA playoffs, and strikes in the WNBA, MLB, and MLS.
Athletes are speaking out against racism and police brutality, even in the NFL.