Today, the Seattle Mariners erected a beautiful statue in honor of arguably the best centerfielder in modern day history, Mr. Kenneth George Griffey Jr. I grew up idolizing him and as an 8-year-old boy tracked down a foul ball outside Joe Martin Field in Bellingham, WA. This was when the 17-year-old Griffey played for the Bellingham Mariners, the organization’s single A minor league team.
I also grew up idolizing Seahawks icons such as: Dave Krieg (well, every other game), Kenny Easley, Joe Nash, Jacob Green, Terry Taylor, Curt Warner and of course everyone’s favorite, Steve Largent.
So, if the Mariners erected a statue, similar to what they did with the beloved late-Dave Niehaus, what should the Seahawks do to show their love for stars that have helped win them games? I would point directly to their team’s brand for the answer.
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Okay, okay, yes, I am a bit biased, I am a Native American (Lummi Nation/Cowichen (First Nations, B.C.)), and yes my Twitter handle is @NativeSeahawk, however, what would set this team apart from most teams (especially set them apart from that other Washington team in DC) is if they respectfully, culturally erected totem poles outside the CLINK.
Can you imagine 6-foot totem poles with the faces of our beloved men on it? The mere fact that a Coast Salish Native American (me) is proposing this idea should give us a leg up in making sure that what we’re being respectful of our traditional Coast Salish culture.
I can imagine teems of people and individuals taking selfies with the Seahawks Hall of Fame Totem Poles and it will be a very big prideful thing that the Native community will see as well. It goes along the lines of the details of our jerseys; inside each number you can see the Coast Salish design/symbols that are included. We can also be proud of the blue and greens of our beautiful community as well as the name Seattle, which is derived from Chief Seath, the infamous tribal leader of the people who once resided in and near the same spot where the city of Seattle is today.
In traditional, Coast Salish culture, we honor people all the time, those who have made a difference in our way of life. Some are elders, some are elected tribal leaders, some are young men and women who have made significant strides to better our communities. Sure, we cannot compare a man who has won games for tipping the football away at the last second (which allowed us to go to the Superbowl) vs. a woman who helped save children from the foster care system and prevented the moving of tribal children away from the reservation; however, we can see how Seattle Seahawks football has created pride, energy and love for all of us who are lucky enough to call the Pacific Northwest our home.