Seahawks DE Michael Bennett stays on bench for national anthem

Seahawks DE Michael Bennett stays on bench for national anthem

Seahawks DE Michael Bennett stays on bench for national anthem

"With everything that's been going on the last couple of months and especially after the last couple of days, seeing everything in Virginia, seeing what's going on out there earlier today in Seattle, I just wanted to be able to use my platform to be able to continue to speak over injustice", Bennett said.

Marshawn Lynch, Bennett's former teammate with the Seahawks, remained seated for the national anthem before the Raiders' preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals on Saturday.

This statement came after Bennett had previously expressed surprise that Kaepernick was not yet on a roster and noted that teams should be happy to have a leader like Kaepernick on their team.

Bennett said he had spoken to several other National Football League players about possible protests, but had not talked with Lynch yet.

Bennett, who is co-authoring a book titled "How To Make White People Uncomfortable" and met up with Kaepernick at the quarterback's Know Your Rights Camp in June, campaigned for the Seahawks to sign Kaepernick to back up Russell Wilson this offseason. Let people attack me because they don't believe what I believe in, but at the end of the day, I'm being vulnerable to show every person that no matter [what] you believe in, keep fighting for it. Keep fighting for equality. "Keep fighting for equality".

"I don't really want to try to get anyone else to follow me", Bennett said. "The change of society and continuously push that". "And I want to be able to use this platform to continuously push the message of that".

Bennett has been an ardent supporter of Colin Kaepernick, who began kneeling during national anthems a year ago while on the San Francisco 49ers and remains a free agent.

Bennett's decision to sit for the anthem this season is just one of many things he's doing to bridge racial divides and benefit the community. "I think everybody has a time where they feel like they need to be who they are and stand up for what they believe in".

On the reaction he expects to receive, Bennett added: "Of course I'm going to face a backlash".

"I think it's personally not a good thing, I think it's a bad thing". It just takes the ownership for someone to say we want this guy in our locker room.

"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", Bennett said. When asked about it, Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio said Lynch told him that he has been sitting on the bench for the anthem for 11 years and that he was just "being myself".

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