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Pete Carroll pens ‘A New Empathy’ essay amid NFL’s new anthem policy

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll on Thursday published a passionate essay titled “A New Empathy” in reaction to the NFL’s new national anthem policy.

The essay, which Carroll posted on Twitter, calls for “a conscious effort to listen, to understand, to care — to build bridges instead of building walls,” imploring all involved to be “part of the change by moving toward a new caring for others.”

NFL owners last week approved a new anthem policy that states players and team personnel, while having the option of remaining in the locker room during the pregame ceremony, are required to stand “and show respect for the flag and the anthem.” Teams are subject to fines from the league should players or personnel violate the new policy.

Carroll suggests in his essay that a “New Empathy” — in light of the updated anthem rules — could have a transformative impact in “these challenging times.”

“This New Empathy could serve as the baseline of thinking that would produce a willingness to see and listen with a fresh sensitivity and awareness — one that would facilitate the engagement necessary for real learning and understanding to take place,” Carroll writes. “And this new understanding would open the passageways to true cultural transformation.”

It goes without saying that the NFL’s controversial new anthem policy the controversial new policy ushered in no shortage of discussion and debate. Expect it to continue throughout the offseason and well into the 2018 NFL campaign; which arguably is exactly the opposite of what league owners desired by enacting the new policy.