As tensions over the national anthem continue to mount, Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett decided to abandon his protests and take a stand before last night’s game.
Bennett has been one of the faces of social justice advocacy in the NFL.
But when the Seahawks played the Arizona cardinals during the Salute For Service game Thursday night, Bennett stood for the Star Spangled Banner. Viewers definitely took notice that the longtime protester actually linked arms with his teammates rather than kneeling during the anthem.
— Seattle Times Sports (@SeaTimesSports) November 10, 2017
On Wednesday, Bennett had hinted that he might stand for the anthem with Veterans Day coming up this weekend. His father, Bennett Sr, is a Navy veteran and has expressed solidarity with his son’s protest for criminal justice reform.
“I joined the military so people like Michael and Martellus and whoever else out there can take a knee or make a stand, peacefully, and get their point across and not be ridiculed. I lose all respect for people if you really can’t see what’s going on in your own country that you live in everyday. People don’t care about people. They care about animals and they care about people that look like they look,” Bennett Sr. told Sports Illustrated in September.
Some people saw this as proof that anthem protests aren’t disrespectful.
Michael Bennett stood in support of #VeteransDay2017, but will be kneeling subsequent weeks. Can we kill this false narrative that they are disrespecting troops and it is about criminal justice reform ?! #SEAvsAZ #Seattle #Seahawks #Arizona #ArizonaCardinals
— Joseph Puopolo (@jpuopolo) November 10, 2017
But don’t expect Bennett to be a changed man forever. It’s been widely reported that he’ll probably go back to kneeling in the coming games. But for right now, showing some respect for our troops is something that can’t go unnoticed.
On Sunday, the NFL will also likely observe a 2 minute moment of silence to honor all who have died fighting for our freedom. Surely that’s something everyone can get behind.