Seahawks star defensive end, Michael Bennett, elected to not stand for the national anthem for the first preseason matchup of the year against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday. As soon as the national anthem began, the rest of his team rose to stand while he sat on the bench with a towel over his head; perhaps, in an effort of solidarity to support Colin Kaepernick.
— Dennis Bernstein (@DennisTFP) August 14, 2017
Since the beginning, Bennett has been a vocal supporter of Kaepernick’s decision to not stand for the national anthem.
“It’s going to take the organization,” Bennett said earlier this month when asked what it will take for a team to sign Kaepernick. “I think the players have spoken up enough. I think the media has spoken up. It just takes the ownership for someone to say we want this guy in our locker room. I think a lot of teams, like we said before, were really affected by what he did and what he did this year. It wasn’t criminal.
“There’s been guys who have criminal records, guys who have been accused of murder, guys who have been accused of rape and domestic violence who are still in the NFL. It’s crazy to see this guy not have an opportunity in the NFL. It’s just weird. I mean, some quarterbacks, as we all know, shouldn’t be playing, but they are, and this guy is sitting on the side. We all know why. It’s just hard to fathom that he’s not having a job this year.”
This appears to be just the beginning of what will be a very controversial NFL season. With Kaepernick still not signed with a team, there may be some backlash from players in the league because of this. Not to mention the white nationalist protests in Charlottesville, VA which adds a whole other problem to this equation. It is likely that this was also a reason Bennett elected to sit for the national anthem in addition to supporting Kaepernick.
With race tensions higher than they have been in recent memory, don’t expect this to be the last time we see social protests from players in the NFL.