Seahawks defensive lineman Michael Bennett says: 'It's never a wrong time to do the right thing.'
Maybe you understand the sentiment behind the initial NFL protests that began with Colin Kaepernick, but you can’t fathom how anyone could demonstrate during the national anthem.
Well, Seahawks defensive lineman Michael Bennett has an answer.
“It’s never a wrong time to do the right thing,” he said Thursday. “Regardless of where you’re at. When there’s a time to do the right thing, you do the right thing. No matter where we’re at in the world. Whether we’re cooking or doing whatever we’re doing. At any time, it’s always the right time to do the right thing.
“There isn’t a place that you fear that we shouldn’t do the right thing. I think that’s what people need to think about. Is there really a time that we shouldn’t be talking about equality? Is there really a time that we shouldn’t be talking about racial discrimination? Is there really a time we shouldn’t be talking about women’s equality? Is there really a time that we shouldn’t be talking about water issues for Native American people? When is there not a time to talk about that? We find time to talk about the Kardashians. We find time to talk about fantasy football.”
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Bennett has been at the forefront of the NFL protests and among a handful of players who sat or knelt during the anthem before President Donald Trump criticized players last week. Following those comments, more than 200 NFL players knelt during the anthem Sunday.
The Seahawks remain at the epicenter of the of the protests due in large part because of outspoken players such as Doug Baldwin, Richard Sherman, Bennett and coach Pete Carroll.
“This is an organization who gets it,” Bennett said. “Who gets that this is more than a game and there’s more to people as they grow. That gets the ulture. That gets the moment right now. … When you have a leader like Pete Carroll who understands people, who takes the time to listen, (then) you have a platform to be able to have constant dialogue with the head person in charge.
“It’s Pete Caroll’s leadership. To be able to have that, it doesn’t happen very often. For them to believe in what you believe in is truly a blessing. I’m actually humbled to have an organization to that will put themselves on the line to speak about these issues. A lot of times when you speak about issues like this, people get turned off. People don’t want to listen. But to constantly have the backing of your head coach and your organization and the good ownership, that’s something that’s really good too.”
Still, many NFL fans as well as Trump believes any sort of protest or demonstration during the anthem is out of bounds.
“When do we find time to talk about the realities of America and the realities of just being a great human being and figuring out how do we make a better world for our kids,” he said. “You think about it, it’s only 60 years ago when things were a lot different. Do you really want that to be the future for our children as people start to realize that things can be different?
“For me and for a lot of players, we want a better future for our kids. We want a better future for our grandkids. We just want a better future for all people.”
And Bennett isn’t dismayed by the criticism that he’s received.
“You can’t really pay attention to the criticism because there’s going to be people criticizing you for whatever you do,” he said. “At this point if anybody is criticizing for racial equality and against discrimination then they got to question themselves. For us, we’re just doing what we believe in and we’ll just keep pushing for it no matter how much criticism we get for what we do. We’ll keep doing what we’re doing.”