DuPont mayor postpones Seahawks rally over team demonstration

KING 5's Heather Graf reports.

DUPONT, Wash. -- The Mayor of DuPont announced Friday he is indefinitely postponing a city-sponsored Seahawks rally due to the expected demonstration by the team before their game this Sunday.

Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin and former Seahawk and Green Beret Nate Boyer both tweeted Thursday the team would conduct a pregame demonstration, but did not say specifically what it would be. Baldwin tweeted it would "honor the country and flag" and Boyer said it would show "respect."

The demonstration comes as several athletes have followed the lead of 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick who first sat, then later kneeled during the anthem before preseason games. Kaepernick says he did it as a silent protest against injustice.

Although it's not yet known what the Seahawks will do, fans have expressed outrage on social media about any kind of protest or demonstration during the anthem.

It's because of that public outrage, and personal experiences, that DuPont Mayor Mike Courts announced the city's third-annual Seahawks rally on Saturday will be postponed indefinitely.

“We support their cause. We absolutely do. And we recognize their constitutional right to take those actions. We would just like to see them do something that’s more effective and less disrespectful,” said Courts.

Courts, a retired Army colonel who served at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, said he questioned whether the city could sponsor an event with the looming possibility of a protest against the American flag.

“I was at the Pentagon on 9/11, so that’s very dear to me. I have seen flags draped lovingly on the coffins of my fallen comrades, and I have placed a folded flag in the hands of a widow. That’s important to me. That’s the very best we can offer. That’s the highest honor we have. So yes, it offends me greatly, and I know it offends a lot of members of my community greatly,” said Courts.

Courts said the decision was made Thursday and says he understands the possibility that the gesture the Seahawks make Sunday may be much different than what Kaepernick and others have done.

“There’s no winners in this, certainly me personally. I’m not a winner in this no matter what I do,” said Courts. “Whether I did nothing and the Seahawks took some form of disrespect, then it’s ‘How could you celebrate this when the team went and did this?’ Or if the team goes out and shows some tremendous sign of patriotism, unity and says ‘Look at that silly mayor. He canceled his rally when the team was going to do this.’ I fully accept that. I did not bring politics to the football field.”

Courts is a self-professed Seahawks fan and says he was even at the first game in franchise history.

“I flew the 12th Man flag over Saddam’s palace in Baghdad and then presented that to coach (Jim) Mora in October of ’09. I’m all in,” said Courts. “I had to weigh my love for the Seahawks versus what I think is the right thing to do for my city, and I can’t just blindly follow the NFL no matter what they do.”

Courts said his constituents have been 50/50 on whether they agree with the postponement,

“I am either the spawn of Satan or their hero. One of the two,” said Courts.

Courts said the rally could be rescheduled depending on how the demonstration plays out.


Copyright 2016 KING


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment