Seattle’s famous “12th man” isn’t the only shadowy fanbase Pete Caroll has pulling for him: The Seahawks head coach also has a bunch of 9/11 truthers on his side, and he doesn’t seem particularly eager to distance himself from them.
USA Today’s Martin Rogers recently caught up with Carroll, who reportedly brought up conspiracy theories about the attacks a meeting his team had with military officials a couple years ago. Following that news, Carroll became a celebrity among the truther crowd.
Rogers asked the coach what he thinks of his controversial following.
“Any notoriety is good I guess,” Carroll told the newspaper. “I will always be interested in the truth, yeah.”
Matthew Mills, a Brooklyn man who acquired some notoriety of his own by shouting “Investigate 9/11!” at Seattle’s post–Super Bowl press conference last year before being dragged away by security, is definitely a Carroll fan. “Every single 9/11 skeptic that I have ever spoken to has great respect for him,” Mills told Rogers.
Rogers notes that Carroll has offered some, ahem, alternative theories on a range of national-security concerns:
“Let’s say, after all the stuff that we heard about what was going on in Iraq, we sent 10,000 people to Iraq as peacefully as we could go,” Carroll said. “And we walked wherever they would let us go, and we just talked to people and listened to what their issues were.
“And then we tried to figure out the best way we could support them and change things, as opposed to bombing (expletive) thousands of people with shock and awe. It might’ve taken us longer to influence change, but nobody would’ve died.”
For now, Carroll says he’s focused on winning his second Super Bowl in as many years.
His opponents, the Patriots, happen to be facing charges of conspiracy themselves, and one 9/11 truther told Rogers the ongoing Deflate-gate investigation reveals the double standard used to scorn conspiracy theorists.
“The 9/11 conspiracy theory, if you talk about the science of what happened and the way the towers fell, and the 2,300 architects and engineers that are calling into question the official findings, you’re labeled a conspiracy theorist,” said Steven Cohn, a member of Arizona State’s 9/11 Studies and Outreach group. “But if you accuse an entire team of deflating footballs or spying on the other team, then that’s just being a sports fan.”