Pete Carroll has called on white Americans to do more in the fight for racial equality.
The Seahawks head coach made the plea during a 14-minute speech on Saturday, after canceling the team's practice so all his players could register to vote. Carroll explained that political engagement was key in ensuring the country moves in the right direction, and underscored the importance of going to the ballot box, participating in protests, and educating oneself about the struggles of marginalized groups.
"All of our players will be officially registered today. That’s a start. Sixty days to march, a commitment to vote," he said in his monologue, before touching on the issue of racial bias and police brutality "... And really, law enforcement is a huge issue to our guys, because they’re frightened for their lives. They’re frightened for the lives of their loved ones and their children. They’re frightened, because they don’t know what’s going to happen because of what we continue to see. So they’re crying out, again, and calling for us white people to figure it out and to listen, and to fix all of the obvious problems that we know."
He also called on his fellow coaches to listen to Black athletes and encouraged them to also speak out.
"So coaches, I’m calling on you, all coaches. Let’s step up, no more being quiet, no more being afraid to talk to topics, no more, you know, I’m a little bit kind of, I might lose my job over this, because I’ve taken a stand here. Screw it. We can’t do that anymore. And maybe if we do, we can be a leadership group, a leadership group that stands out, and maybe others will follow us."
Carroll joins a growing list of sports figures who have used their platforms to demand an end to racial injustice. NBA, WNBA, MLS, MLB, and NHL players chose to cancel or postpone some of their games earlier this week, in wake of the police shooting of Jacob Blake. A number of NFL teams—including the the New York Jets, the Los Angeles Chargers, and the Denver Broncos—chose to cancel their practices Thursday amid national outcry.
You can watch Carroll's full speech above.