NFL players across the league took a knee Sunday during the singing of the national anthem after President Donald Trump suggested players who kneel to protest police brutality be “fire or suspend.”
Seahawks and Titans players and coaches went one step further -- the teams chose to stay in the locker room for the anthem Sunday.
Reporter Ted Land was going up and down the bar at Hawks Nest West in West Seattle, asking for fans' reactions to the boycott.
"I kind of thought, ‘Will this be a little awkward for them?'" Land said.
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He received mixed reactions by broaching the subject around game time.
“(I’m) bringing up a touchy topic on a Sunday afternoon when they’re just unwinding to watch the game,” he recalled.
He then spoke to two Hawks fans with opposing views.
“I think it’s getting a little bit out of control, to be honest with you,” Anthony Townsend told Land. “I’ll continue to watch, but you start to lose respect for some of the players.”
Nakean Wickliff disagreed.
“I feel that when anybody has the ability or the platform to say something important, they should,” he said. “At the end of the day, it’s a game, and I don’t see how it should take precedence over us as a country and how we feel.”
Land wasn’t sure how Wickliff, an African-American, and Townsend, who’s white, would react after the interviews. That's when he wondered if this would be awkward for the two.
“They’re both expressing their opinions verbally on camera, and then I’m going to walk away, and they’re going to go back to the game,” said Land.
But it didn’t happen that way.
“Both gladly shared their opinions with me on camera and then turned to the game and went back to chatting about what was happening on the field, which I thought was great,” he said.
“I don’t know if that could happen on social media where you can have people on two sides arguing bitterly about something and then setting it aside and going back to the thing that brought them together in the first place, which was the football game.
“I thought that’s a great lesson for people following these debates and these arguments in our country right now. You can have them, and it’s great to express your opinion, but that doesn’t mean you can’t sit next to one another at a bar and enjoy a beer,” Land said.
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