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Bennett on protesting during anthem: ‘There’s never a wrong time to do the right thing’

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 17: Center Justin Britt #68 of the Seattle Seahawks, left, and running back Thomas Rawls #34, right, join defensive end Michael Bennett #72 on the bench during the national anthem before the game against the San Francisco 49ers at CenturyLink Field on September 17, 2017 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

RENTON, Wash. – A common question about the decision by the Seattle Seahawks and other NFL teams’ decision to protest racial inequality during the national anthem is, why is it done then?

Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett took a crack at the question during a press conference Thursday afternoon at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center, saying “there’s never a wrong time to do the right thing.”

“Is there really a time that we shouldn’t be talking about racial discrimination?” Bennet asked. “Is there really a time that we shouldn’t be talking about women’s equality? s there really a time that we shouldn’t be talking about water issues, or Native American people? When is there a time to talk about that?

“We find time to talk about the Kardashians, we find time to talk about fantasy football, but when do we find time to talk about the realities of America, and realities of just being a great human being and figuring out how we make a better world for our kids?”

Bennett also discussed the conversation he had Tuesday near the VMAC, when he pulled over and talked to a group of military veterans protesting the Seahawks’ actions.

“For me it’s like, you’ve just got to believe that people are good,” he said. “I believe the fellowship between Man is important, and the ability to be able to go there and sit there and just talk to people and be able to hear their stories. But for them to be able to hear mine because I’ve never walked a mile in their shoes.

“I don’t know what it feels like to be in a war. I don’t know what it feels like to lose a brother in battle. But I do know what it feels like to be a black man. I know what it feels like to be a minority. So, to be able to express what I’m feeling and express what they’re feeling is a common ground where we can have great and constant dialogue.”

Bennett said the backlash from some fans hasn’t bothered him.

“You can’t really pay attention to the criticism, because people are going to criticize you know matter what you do,” he said. “At this point, if anybody’s criticizing us for racial inequality, and against discrimination they’ve got to question themselves.”