“Black lives matter, and not just on the field.”
On Sunday December 14th, organizers of and supporters of the local #Blacklivesmatter movement took to Century Link field and stadium to not only protest systematic racism and police brutality at the popular and well attended Seahawks versus the SF 49er’s football game, but to also highlight the innate hypocrisy and racism present within the NFL and NFL fan bases. The protesters occupied the street adjacent to the stadium on its west side, and held a sit-in where numerous speakers spoke about the movement and racism in Seattle and America as a whole.
The predominantly white Seahawks fans often aggressively confronted the protesters, saying lines such as “all lives matter” and “don’t break the law, don’t get shot”. Every ten minutes or so a white Seahawks fan would thank the ever-watching SPD bike squad escort for the officer’s service in guarding the protesters. One fan said “just gas em already” while others tried to barge their way through the crowd, often stepping on protesters lying down on the street during the die-in. At times fans would try and drown out the voices of protesters by chanting “Seahawks! Seahawks!” In response, protesters would join in – causing the fans to stop chanting – or point out publicly via a bullhorn the hypocrisy of NFL fans worshiping black football players on the field but disregarding black lives lost to police violence. “You’ve ruined the game,” shouted one fan as he passed.
One fan did join the sit-in and spoke briefly on the PA system, saying he didn’t know about the protest prior, but that “black lives matter”.
No arrests were made by SPD, nor incidents apart from those mentioned above. Below are photos taken at the rally: