Former Jets coach Pete Carroll — now head coach for the Seattle Seahawks — got political on Saturday, delivering an impassioned plea against racism.
Carroll, 68, called on other coaches to use their platforms to speak out against social justice and stressed the need to vote in November and for white people to finally listen to the people of color around them.
“This is about racism in America that white people don’t know,” the Super Bowl-winning coach said during a nearly 15-minute monologue.
“They don’t know enough. And they need to be coached up and they need to be educated about what the heck is going on in this world.”
“Black people can’t scream anymore,” Carroll went on. “They can’t march anymore or they can’t bare their souls anymore to what they’ve lived with for hundreds of years.”
Both the Seahawks and at least one other team — the Carolina Panthers — canceled their practices Saturday over the Kenosha police shooting of Jacob Blake, according to reports.
Carroll said when “white guys came over from Europe” they had a “great idea” about freedom and equality for all that has never come to fruition.
“That’s not what happened because we went down this other road here — follow the economics and rich white guys making money,” he said. “And they put together a system of slavery.
“And we’ve never left it, really. It’s never gone away. And the really amazing thing that I’ve learned is Black people know the truth. They know exactly what’s going on. It’s white people that don’t know.”
Carroll said other coaches in the conservative football league must step up to combat racism. His players are “living scared to death” watching video after video of shootings, he added.
“This is a calling today for coaches, specifically, to take that leadership opportunity,” Carroll said.
“Let’s step up. No more being quiet. No more being afraid to talk to topics. No more, you know, I might lose my job over this, because I’ve taken a stand here. Screw it.”
And Americans must understand the importance of voting this election, he added. Carroll said every Seahawk was officially registered to vote as of Saturday.
Safety Jamal Adams thanked his coach for hearing his players.
“Big thank you to Coach Pete, [general manager] John Schneider & the entire Seahawks organization for really hearing us as Black athletes,” Adams tweeted.
“This is a special place, like I’ve said before where everyone’s willing to learn and understand that wrong is wrong, and right is right.”