Angry supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday in a chaotic protest aimed at thwarting a peaceful transfer of power, forcing lawmakers to be rushed from the building and interrupting challenges to Joe Biden's Electoral College victory.
Trump issued a restrained call for peace well after the melee was underway but did not urge supporters to disperse. Earlier he had egged them on to march to Capitol Hill. The Pentagon said about 1,100 District of Columbia National Guard members were being mobilized to help support law enforcement at the Capitol.
Wednesday's ordinarily mundane procedure of Congress certifying a new president was always going to be extraordinary, with Republican supporters of Trump vowing to protest results of an election that they have baselessly insisted was reversed by fraud. But even the unusual deliberations, which included the Republican vice president and Senate majority leader defying Trump's demands, were quickly overtaken.
The chaotic events Wednesday in D.C. drew the attention of the nation and players across the NFL, who shared their reaction to the situation throughout the day.
"This is what's going on. It's been incited and people can't be surprised by what's happening because it's been kinda provoked for a long time," Seattle Seahawks offensive lineman Duane Brown said, per The Seattle Times. "It's here now, and it's not being met with the same outrage and anger as other protests, and things that have happened over the last recent months. I'm praying for everyone involved, for safety, I believe they said some people were shot or injured so praying for the best outcome possible in those situations. But like I said, it's been provoked for a while."
Brown's teammate, quarterback Russell Wilson, was also asked for his thoughts on what transpired at the U.S. Capitol.
"What we do need to do is come together as a nation," Wilson told reporters. "It has to start with love. It has to start with people coming together. Our leaders and everything else in our country. We need safety, we need protection for our children and people."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.