Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Tuesday he supports Michael Bennett after the defensive end chose to sit during the national anthem before Sunday's game in Los Angeles, but noted that he believes everyone should stand when The Star-Spangled Banner is played. Bennett opted to remain seated Sunday, one day after Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch, his former Seahawks teammate, did the same for his team's preseason opener. Bennett also has been a vocal supporter of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who remains unsigned after deciding last year not to stand for the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial injustice. "I support the heck out of (Bennett's) concerns and his issues and all that," Carroll said of Bennett. "When it comes to it, I love our country, and I think we should all stand when the flag is represented. His heart is in the right place — he's going to do great work well after the time he's with us — and it's easy for me to support him in his issues. But I think we should all be standing up when we're playing the national anthem." In discussing players' expressions of individuality, Carroll said that he "couldn't support that more." But he added the needs of the organization also had to be taken into consideration. "We celebrate the uniqueness of our players in every way that we can, as long as they toe the line and fit in with this football team," Carroll said. "We are not scattered in our views. We're not disconnected. We're a very connected group, and I think we've demonstrated that over the years. "By the same token, these are young men who are trying to find their message. They're trying to find their heart. And I couldn't support that more. I think when we do connect with who they are, I think we can help them go farther. That's a big challenge for me and our coaches and our administration: to work to understand our guys and to see what they can do. But they have to roll with us now."
Seahawks' Pete Carroll: I support Michael Bennett, but 'we should all stand' for anthem
USA Today | Aug 16