DuPont mayor cancels Seahawks rally over potential anthem demonstration
DuPont’s mayor has shut down a city-sponsored rally for the Seahawks this weekend due to concerns over potential demonstrations by players.
Mayor Mike Courts, a retired Army colonel, wrote a message on the city’s website on Friday, “Freedom of speech is a tenet of our community, and not honoring our flag is our right. But free speech is not without cost: words and actions mean things and are often times interpreted in a way not intended.”
But isn’t this a little premature, since we don’t know for sure what the players are going to do?
He told KIRO Radio’s Tom and Curley that the team can make the decision five minutes before the game starts while Saturday’s events will happen according to the schedule.
“We respect the players’ rights to express themselves. We understand that. We certainly, and I certainly, understand the cause that they support and we’re well behind that,” Court said.
He said that yes, his personal and professional lives do influence decisions and he does have personal feelings about the demonstrations.
“I had four combat deployments and I was at the Pentagon on 9/11,” he said.
The challenge is, according to Courts, that the city can’t pivot as fast as the Seahawks and a decision needed to be made on Thursday.
“At that point in time, indications were that there might be a massive sit-down during the national anthem. And all we’ve done is postpone the rally. If we want to reschedule the rally … We were a city that held a great, nationally-renowned rally the day before the Minnesota playoffs. This is a city that very much supports the Seahawks, but we also don’t want to inject ourselves into the middle of any activity that might be considered disrespectful.”
Linebacker Bobby Wagner said on Wednesday that the team may stage some sort of team-wide demonstration. Wide receiver Doug Baldwin confirmed:
Baldwin tweeted: “To express a desire to bring people together, our team will honor the country and flag in a pregame demonstration of unity.”