Two Big Names In NFL Join Kaepernick - Protest National Anthem

Colin Kaepernick made headlines and a ton of waves when he began kneeling for the performance of the national anthem before games. Now, given recent events, he's got some company.

A defensive player for the Seattle Seahawks has caused a stir after he remained seated with a towel over his head during the American national anthem prior to a pre-season opener against the Los Angeles Chargers in Carson, California. Michael Bennett joined the protests of fellow players, Marshawn Lynch and Colin Kaepernick, following the horrific violence at Charlottesville, Virginia.

Mr. Bennet, 31, took a stand against segregation and racism during the pre-season game in California, refusing to stand and join his team mates for the American national anthem. Mr. Bennet was quick to defend his actions, asserting that his choice to remove himself from the anthem was not due to a lack of respect for the military, but for his stance against segregation: “First of all I want people to understand that I love the military. 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.”

Mr. Bennet went on to state that he wants to use his position of popularity to promote positive messages of unity and hopes that it can help “people have the equality that they deserve.” Mr. Bennet’s silent protest came just one day after a former Seahawks teammate, Marshawn Lynch, also took a seat during the national anthem prior to a Raiders pre-season game.

With the recent violence in Charlottesville serving as a catalyst, Mr. Bennet did not inform his coaches or team mates of his decision, but simply removed himself during the anthem and then immediately joined his teammates afterwards for the Seahawks defense huddle. Mr. Bennet’s final comment to reporters following the victorious game was a message of courage and strength, with the defense player stating “keep fighting for equality. Keep fighting for oppressed people. And keep trying to change society.”

Both Mr. Bennet and Mr. Lynch have followed in the footsteps of Mr. Kaepernick, who faced similar scrutiny for a similar action during the national anthem before a game with the San Francisco 49ers. After Mr. Kaepernick remained seated and then took a knee during the national anthem, he opted out of his contract and has remained unsigned ever since.

Mr. Bennet and Mr. Lynch have spoken out in support of Mr. Kaepernick, urging the 49ers to sign the talented player: “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,'” Mr. Bennet affirmed.

“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 NFL… its crazy to see this guy not have an opportunity in the NFL,” Mr. Bennet continued, donning a t-shirt supporting Mr. Kaepernick’s ‘Know Your Rights’, on a number of occasions. While all three men have faced heavy criticism from the public for their decision to remain seated, they have maintained their stance and continue to preach “love and not hate.”

Source: Daily Mail
Photo: YouTube

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