NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Carolina Panthers
Jim Dedmon / USA TODAY Sports

Not long ago, there was a genuine possibility NFL teams would not take the field for the kickoff of the 2020 season. That, however, centered on negotiations over how to play football during a pandemic. Now, with the season right around the corner, COVID-19 protocols are all shored up, but there's something else that could stand in the way of games: racial injustice. In the wake of the NBA postponing playoff games while players speak out about police brutality and racism in America, Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll believes NFL teams could also sit out games in protest.

"Anything's possible," Carroll said Wednesday, per ESPN. "This is a protest season."

The coach's remarks come after the Seahawks held a renewed discussion on the Black Lives Matter movement, according to the Tacoma News Tribune's Gregg Bell. And they already have one prominent endorsement from inside Seattle's locker room, with new safety Jamal Adams tweeting support for both Carroll and the NBA players who helped orchestrate Wednesday's postponements.

Nearly a dozen other players, including Houston Texans wide receiver Kenny Stills, have lauded the NBA's decision, saying the league "is showing us how it's done."

The NFL as a whole has been increasingly outspoken on social justice issues this offseason, initially in response to the Memorial Day killing of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police. Commissioner Roger Goodell has encouraged players to peacefully protest injustice, openly acknowledged systemic racism and called on teams to be proactive for change. This week, conversations took on a new light after the viral shooting of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

The Detroit Lions cancelled their training camp practice on Tuesday, instead standing side-by-side outside team facilities to advocate for justice and express their belief that "football is not important" amid such persistent injustice. The New York Giants took a similar, if less prominent, approach on Wednesday, delaying the start of practice to host dialogue on racial injustice and how to improve their community.