Pete Carroll said "we owe a tremendous amount" to Colin Kaepernick for taking a stand against police brutality and racial oppression in 2016.
"I think that there was a moment in time that a young man captured. He took a stand on something, figuratively took a knee, but he stood up for something he believed in -- and what an extraordinary moment it was that he was willing to take," Carroll said.
"... But what happened from the process is it elevated awareness from people that just took everything away from what the statement was all about, and it just got tugged and pulled and ripped apart.
"And the whole mission of what the statement was, such a beautiful ... it's still the statement that we're making right today. We're not protecting our people. We're not looking after one another. We're not making the right choices. We're not following the right process to bring people to justice when actions are taken. So I think it was a big sacrifice in the sense that a young man makes, but those are the courageous moments that some guys take.
"And we owe a tremendous amount to him for sure."
The Seattle Seahawks had interest in signing Kaepernick two years ago, but the visit was called after he declined to inform the team whether he planned to stop kneeling for the anthem.