Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll recently praised Colin Kaepernick for taking a stand during his NFL career but not everyone believes his comments are genuine. Kaepernick’s girlfriend Nessa Diab threw shade at Carroll and the Seahawks on social media after ESPN posted his comments.
“You @PeteCarroll are the same person, on the same team, that wouldn’t hire @Kaepernick7 because he took a knee,” Diab explained on Twitter. “Don’t ever try to act like you were on his side. You’ve kept him from a job until this day.”
Diab posted screenshots of reports by The Ringer and ESPN’s Adam Schefter noting that Kaepernick’s decision to kneel during the national anthem played a role in the Seahawks not signing Kapernick in 2018.
“After arranging for Colin Kaepernick to work out for the Seahawks this week, Seattle postponed the trip when the quarterback declined to stop kneeling during the national anthem next season, league sources tell ESPN. More ahead on NFL Live now,” Schefter tweeted on April 12, 2018.
The Seahawks Remain One of the Only NFL Teams to Meet With Kaepernick After He Became a Free Agent
The Seahawks did bring in Kaepernick for a visit in 2017 and remain one of the only NFL teams to have met with the quarterback. Kaepernick last played in the NFL in 2016 for the 49ers. At the time of the visit, Carroll called Kaepernick a starter in the league and emphasized they already had their quarterback in Russell Wilson.
“Colin has been a fantastic football player and he’s going to continue to be,” Carroll said in 2017, per Kiro 7 Seattle. “At this time, we didn’t do anything with it, but we know where he is and who he is, and we had a chance to understand him much more so. He’s a starter in this league. We have a starter, but he’s a starter in this league and I can’t imagine that somebody won’t give him a chance to play.”
Carroll was asked by Stever Kerr on the Flying Coach podcast how he balanced his personal feelings with the NFL’s handling of Kaepernick’s employment.
“I think that there was a moment in time that a young man captured,” Carroll explained, per ESPN. “He took a stand on something, figuratively took a knee, but he stood up for something he believed in — and what an extraordinary moment it was that he was willing to take. …But what happened from the process is it elevated awareness from people that just took everything away from what the statement was all about, and it just got tugged and pulled and ripped apart.”
Carroll & Schneider Were Deposed by Kaepernick’s Lawyer in 2018
According to The Seattle Times, Carroll along with Seahawks general manager John Schneider were deposed by Kaepernick’s lawyer in 2018. At the time, Schneider declined to get into the specifics of the Kaepernick discussions but did not deny the idea that the team spoke with the quarterback about his protests during the anthem.
“That’s what I can’t get into,’’ Schneider told The Seattle Times in 2018. “That’s stuff that, not just Colin but anybody we are bringing in, whether it’s a free agent workout we are talking about… so obviously it’s pretty controversial, I understand that. But anyone we would bring in there are a number of things we go through, tons of different categories in the background before we bring guys in.”
This would seem to contrast with Carroll’s typical stance with Seahawks players. The Seahawks have had a history of allowing players to protest and be vocal about their opinions on social issues during Carroll’s tenure in Seattle. The Nation’s Dave Zirin believes the Seahawks not signing Kaepernick was part of a calculated effort to avoid “disruptors.”
“Seahawks could have had him [Kaepernick]. But they were more focused on getting rid of Michael Bennett, Richard Sherman and other “disruptors” in the locker room,” Zirin noted on Twitter. “There is so much revisionist history going on in the wide world of sports.”
Not everyone agreed with Zirin’s assessment of the situation. ESPN 710 Seattle’s Jake Heaps (who also played briefly for the Seahawks) called Zirin’s statement “garbage.”
“The Seahawks and Pete Carroll were NOT cutting ties with these players because of their political beliefs,” Heaps tweeted. “You are spinning things to fit your narrative, not reality. Revising history is what you are doing Dave. This is garbage.”