The Unintended Symbolism Of Seahawks Sitting

Just a quick note.

This weekend is the kickoff to the 2016–2017 NFL Season. I’m a Packers fan who now lives in Seattle and let me start by saying the “Fail Mary” still stings. That said: “Go, Hawks!” No, I won’t be cheering on the Seahawks in the “legion of boom,” but I have become a fan of their humanity, and have noticed something much bigger happening. Check it out.

The Seattle Seahawks, at the time of writing, plan to sit during the National Anthem, joining Colin Kaepernick in peaceful protest of the way minority populations are treated in this country.

The oligarchy creates turmoil amongst the lower classes while bleeding us dry and remaining unseen. Protests like this shine a light on the inner workings of our country.

This quick note is not about whether you like the move or not, or even to argue on their behalf. It’s about something that struck me when I moved out here… It’s about the Seahawks logo and how it ties to one of our most abused and almost destroyed minority populations: Native Americans.

Photo Credit: me, from our vacation. 🙂

The indigenous art of the Pacific Northwest is some of the most stylistically beautiful design work I’ve ever seen. It’s unique, expressive, colorful and very iconic. So iconic, in fact, that in 1975 the Seattle Seahawks debuted a logo undeniably based on a Kwakwaka‘wakw eagle mask likely created in the late 1800s. (I’m lucky I don’t have to read that sentence aloud to you.)

Source: Burke Museum Blog

The NFL is one of the most profitable organizations in the history of time. The logo on the helmets of the Seattle Seahawks is borrowed from some of the most abused and denigrated people in our history. I’m by no means arguing the Seahawks represent oppression. In fact, I love that they use art from the area to represent their team. I’m only pointing out a certain happenstance: while the protest may have been inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, the Seahawks, with their native-inspired icons, may inadvertently shed a strong light on the plight of our native brothers and sisters.

Their protest happens to be occurring the same time as an unprecedented gathering of Native American tribes from all over our continent has organized to protect the lands of the Lakota Sioux in North Dakota, US. As has been the tradition of late, the United States holds profit above people and is illegally allowing a new oil pipeline to be run through the Missouri River, polluting the land and water on the Lakota reservation, and destroying sacred grounds in the process.

Water is life. Mni Wiconi.

I don’t have an in-depth analysis, or anything like that for you today. I only want to point out the serendipity and unintentional symbolism of it all, as I believe there’s a collective awakening going on. Colin Kaepernick took a seat and pointed out the blind nationalism in the playing of The National Anthem, a song about the America that may only exist in fairy tales. The Seattle Seahawks, emblazoned in indigenous symbolism, are joining the protest. Hundreds of native tribes are coming together to protect water and a way of life. This is all connected, even if not consciously. This is all part of a greater awakening and sense of unity.

I’m sure you feel it.


So what do you think? Let me know here, or find me on twitter:@abowersock . And if you share, please use the hashtag #NoDAPL

This piece was originally published on Medium – The Unintended Symbolism of Seahawks Sitting 

Written by Aaron Bowersock

Aaron Bowersock

Multi-media artist dedicating my art and writing to the cause of normalizing political discussion. Activist with Socialist Alternative, building a working people's party for the 99%.

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The Unintended Symbolism Of Seahawks Sitting