Browns’ Seth DeValve’s Wife Makes Powerful Statement On Husband’s National Anthem Protest
Earlier this week, Cleveland Browns tight end Seth DeValve became the first white NFL player to kneel during the national anthem since the protest began last year with Colin Kaepernick.
If you didn’t know, Seth’s wife is black. Erica Harris DeValve had no clue her husband was planning to kneel until she saw it for herself at the game.
Following the game, Seth stated in his interviews that he was going to “be raising children that don’t look like (him).” It was the type of statement that Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett had been calling for as he suggested a white player kneeling and speaking out would give the protest a bigger feel.
On Thursday, Erica wrote a powerful piece for the root.com on her husband’s activism.
“That moment reconfirmed a few things that I knew: that the many in-depth conversations about race that Seth and I had—that every interracial couple must have had—resonated and took root with him; that he knew this was bigger than just one-on-one chatting with me over dinner or coffee; and that he gets it, beyond a simple desire to be protective of me as his wife.
I am grateful for the widespread support and praise that Seth is getting for his actions, but I would like to offer a humble reminder that a man—a black man—literally lost his job for taking a knee, week after week, on his own. Colin Kaepernick bravely took a step and began a movement throughout the NFL, and he suffered a ridiculous amount of hate and threats and ultimately lost his life’s work in the sport he loves.
We should not see Seth’s participation as legitimizing this movement. Rather, he chose to be an ally of his black teammates. To center the focus of Monday’s demonstration solely on Seth is to distract from what our real focus should be: listening to the experiences and the voices of the black people who are using their platforms to continue to bring the issue of racism in the U.S. to the forefront. Seth, as a white individual, never has and never will truly have to feel the weight and burden of racial discrimination and racial oppression. No white person does or will. But all white people should care and take a stand against its prevalence in this country.”