OAKLAND, Calif. Jeremy Lane put himself, and by extension the Seahawks, into the controversy surrounding Colin Kaepernick by joining the San Francisco 49ers’ quarterback in not standing for the National Anthem before an NFL game.
Lane, Seattle’s fifth-year defensive back, sat on the Seahawks’ bench on the east side of the Coliseum in Oakland during the anthem prior to Thursday night’s preseason finale against the Raiders. He sat there expressionless while saxophonist Mike Phillips played the anthem.
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Lane, Seattle’s fifth-year defensive back, sat alone on the Seahawks’ bench on the east side of the Coliseum in Oakland during the anthem prior to Thursday night’s preseason finale against the Raiders. Lane sat expressionless while world-class saxophonist Mike Phillips played the anthem.
"I wasn't trying to say anything," Lane said after Seattle’s 23-21 win. "Just standing behind Kaepernick.
"It's something I plan to keep on doing until I feel like justice has been served. … I thought about it, about a week or so, and I just think it's OK for me to do it."
Lane said he didn’t tell Seahawks coach Pete Carroll – or anyone else in the organization – he was going to sit through the anthem while 70-some other teammates plus dozens of coaches and staffers stood all around and in front of him during the anthem.
"I didn’t tell anyone what I was going to do," he said. "I just did it."
Carroll said he supported Lane, part of what the coach described as an ongoing dialogue he’s having with his players on race relations in this country.
"It’s totally an individual decision," Carroll said late Thursday. "Very interesting issues we are dealing with right now. Our team has been working on it, and we are in the process of communicating about a lot of stuff right now.
"I’m really proud of the progress we’re making in the conversation. I look forward to continuing with our guys. It’s really important to us, to understand and be smart in how we handle business…
"I’m very much in support of them, and how we handle it.
"This was an individual decision."
Late in the first half the Coliseum’s public-address announcer and its giant video boards recognized Phillips for what was indeed an exquisitely played anthem. On the Seahawks’ sideline, linebacker Bobby Wagner was among those in the stadium applauding.
This week, as the national controversy raged over Kaepernick’s stand against racial inequality in our country, three-time All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman said he thought some Seahawks had talked about sitting during the National Anthem.
"I think some of the guys have talked about it," Sherman said Monday. "I haven’t particularly been in those discussions, but I’m sure some of them ... I sure if it’s going to happen -- we do a National Anthem every game, so we’ll see."
Immediately after Lane sat Thursday, Sherman came over the bench and sat next to his fellow defensive back. The two talked briefly.
“Everybody’s entitled. That’s our country,” Sherman said, who added Lane told him he was going to do it.
“He sat down. He wanted to make a point. And I think he made a great point. ... He’s really strong in his decision and has a very strong conviction in what he’s doing. He’ll be fine.
“This conversation that Colin started is going to evolve into something deeper.”
Lane said he doesn’t remember what Sherman said to him at that moment.
"Right now, I don't think it accomplished anything for me or the cause," he said of him sitting. "So that's the plan."
Lane, from Tyler, Texas, said he expects negative reactions from many across the country for allegedly disrespecting the flag and our country.
"Yeah, I am prepared for it, and I don't mean no disrespect toward anybody," Lane said. "But I'm just standing behind what I believe.
Lane started at right cornerback as Seattle’s starting defense played just one series before exiting the final tune-up before the Sept. 11 opener against Miami.