Michael Bennett sits on bench during national anthem; rest of Seahawks link arms
CARSON, Calif. – Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett sat on the bench during the national anthem before the team’s game at the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday night.
The rest of the Seahawks continued last season’s ritual, linking arms during the anthem.
After the game, Bennett told Q13 FOX that he wants to use his platform to continue to speak on injustice.
“I’m hoping that I can activate everybody to get off their hands and feet and go out into the communities and help each other,” he said. “Sit down with somebody of the opposite sex. Sit down with somebody who’s the opposite race, different religion and understand that people are different.”
Bennett said he did not talk to former teammate Marshawn Lynch, who also sat on the bench during the anthem preceding his first game with the Oakland Raiders, or Coach Pete Carroll before Sunday’s game.
“I didn’t really want to try and get anyone else to follow me. I just wanted to do my own thing. I don’t want to be a distraction to my teammates. I don’t want to be a distraction to the organization,” he said.
Bennett also said he knows there will be a backlash for his actions but, this is bigger than football. “This is about people. This is about bringing opportunities to people. Giving people equality. This is bigger than a sport.”
Adding he wants to continue to push the message that “things aren’t fair.”
Bennett, who is writing a book called “Things That Make White People Uncomfortable,” has frequently been outspoken on social issues.
“I think people were so caught up in the flag that they forgot about the message of social injustice,” he said last season.
“They wanted to miss the point I feel like, because at the end of the day when you look in the mirror and you really see what’s going on, that’s a calling on you to help make a change. And how many people really want to make a change?”