Michael Bennett and Marshawn Lynch took a moment of silent protest, following in Colin Kaepernick‘s footsteps.
Michael stayed on the bench as his teammates from the Seattle Seahawks stood for the National Anthem during a preseason game on Sunday.
— Dennis Bernstein (@DennisTFP) August 14, 2017
ESPN reports that it was very important for him to do this now, especially in light of the deadly White Nationalist march in Charlottsville, Virginia.
“With everything that’s been going on the last couple of months, and especially after the last couple of days seeing what’s going on in Virginia, and earlier today in Seattle,” Michael said. “I just wanted to be able to use my platform to be able to continuously speak on injustice.”
Michael knows that a lot of people are going to take offense to his silent protest. Recent events have shown him how the mainstream reacts to simialr protests. Colin has been blackballed in the NFL for choosing to kneel during the National Anthem while playing for the San Francisco 49ers.
Although Colin has been accused of being unpatriotic, Michael made it a point to state that while he’s as American as anyone else in the U.S. However, he’s not a fan of American injustices.
“First of all, I want people to understand that I love the military,” Michael told reporters. “My father’s in the military. I love hot dogs like any other American. I love football like any other American. But I don’t love segregation. I don’t love riots or oppression.
He continued, “I just want to see people have the equality that they deserve. And I want to be able to use this platform to continuously push the message of that.”
Just a day earlier in Arizona, The Grio reports that Michael’s former teammate Marshawn also opted to sit out for the National Anthem during an Oakland Raiders preseason game.
While most of his other teammates stood up for the anthem he took a seat on an orange cooler until the song was over.
“If you’re really not racist then you won’t see what he done, what he’s doing, as a threat to America, but just addressing a problem that we have,” Lynch said then.