Michael Bennett: I love the military, but not segregation

AP

Michael Bennett has never been afraid to speak his mind. And now Marshawn Lynch has some company.

The Seahawks defensive end said the events of the weekend caused him to think, and to sit through the national anthem while his teammates stood with locked arms on the sidelines last night before their game against the Chargers.

“First of all, I want people to understand that I love the military,” Bennett said, via ESPN.com. “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.

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.”

Bennett has been an outspoken advocate of protests in the past, and a staunch supporter of former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick — who’s still looking for a job for reasons unrelated to his football abilities.

He did not talk to his Seattle teammates about his plan (he didn’t want to be a #distraction), and while he’s talked to other players about his intentions he did not speak to Lynch, who sat through the anthem Saturday night.

Bennett said he hopes any attention he draws will spark others to get involved in their communities.

“I’m being vulnerable right now,” Bennett said. “There’s a whole bunch of people sitting at home judging me, but they will never get to this point where they can be vulnerable. 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 oppressed people. And keep trying to change society.”

While it’s impossible to argue that Kaepernick’s unemployment is directly related to teams not wanting the attention that comes with his political stances — though he’s declared through representatives he didn’t plan to protest during the anthem this season — it’s also clear the issues he raised aren’t going away.

And there are more players who are willing to take up his burden, if he’s not there to do it himself.

62 responses to “Michael Bennett: I love the military, but not segregation

  1. I’m not gonna read the article. I’m just going to hate on this African American athlete, downplay his perspective, and give advice on how they should be protesting injustice, even though I would hate that too. I also wear a bright red hat that was ironically made in China, because her emails

  2. I wish these players would get cut there all followers this makes me shy away from the NFL I like the game I could care less less about there views

  3. I enjoy it when the clowns in the comment section state “do it on your own time” well the people these players are trying to get the message to do not go into the inner city, they don’t watch music videos with a message in them. So when can you biggots hear the message? Well when you watch NFL games so thats the reason why they protest durning games the same way when your kid is selling candy or whatever for fun raiser or sports event fee. You take the form to your office or job and get people to buy whatever thet are selling because you know more people will buy, same thing goes with CK lynch and Bennett!!!

  4. We all feel so sorry for you multi millionaire athletes who complain about being oppressed, Quit this racist game of football, go become a politician and go try to affect a real change in what you believe in. Until you commit to that, stop being a hypocrite and Just play the game.

  5. Segregation? What planet is he on? Maybe he is speaking about the Blacks only graduation ceremony at Harvard this year

  6. the more they do it, the more people will start to ignore it. Now, it just seems like they are trying to get attention and the importance is not on the issue. It just seems like an attention grab now.

  7. Anyone criticizing Bennett is a supporter of the car driving terrorist in Charlottesville. Just go ahead and declare here that you’re a white supremacist/skinhead.

    It’s as simple as that.

  8. Let’s not confuse the real issue from a thin, weak issue.

    THE REAL ISSUE: Equality

    The thin, weak issue: colin kaepernick not being signed

    If you think colin kaepernick hasn’t been signed due to ONLY his protest… you are not a well informed football fan.

    – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    Andy Dalton Statistics (93 games):

    22214 yards – 142 td – 81 int

    62.7 completions – 33 fumbles

    – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    colin kaepernick statistics (69 games):

    12271 yards – 72 td – 30 int

    59.8 completions – 40 fumbles

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    Cam Newton Statistics (93 games):

    21772 yards – 136 td – 78 int

    58.4 completions – 38 fumbles

  9. ” But I don’t love segregation.”
    Wrong century dude. Other than the natural desire of people of similar culture to flock together, there isn’t any segregation. Unless you address the new trend on college campuses where white people aren’t allowed to go certain places.

    This is really the crux of the problem with athletes voicing their opinions about big issues. Their opinions are just as stupid and misinformed as most people’s opinions are. The money and fame don’t make their opinions more valid or better in any way but the media reports them anyway and that says more about the media’s political stance than it does anything else. To clarify, if the athlete has an ‘approved’ opinion by the majority of the MSM, it will get run time. Otherwise, no.

  10. Segregation? Legalized segregation in this country ended decades before Bennett was even born.

    I’m good with anyone sticking up for their issues, but this kind of statement makes me wonder if he’s got a firm grasp of the facts.

  11. segregation in the military? Bennett is not that bright, obviously.

    Boot camp was a pile of 80 dudes from all around the country crammed in to one open bay barracks. The fleet was no different.

    I can’t wait for this guy to just go away.

  12. Yes thank you Michael Bennett for pointing out that 75 percent of America’s war casualties are among whites. We have to ask ourselves why others races aren’t stepping up to the plate to do their fair share.

  13. Right now is the time for the NFL to get this under control for this year. Just keep the players off the field until after the Anthem is played. They can sit or stand or whatever out of sight of the TV cameras the same as everyone else. They can come out when it’s time to play.

  14. Gee I wonder how many people will suggest he go live in Nicaragua or North Korea. Seems those people don’t really understand what it means to be American in the first place.

    Love his comment about hot dogs, nice to see he still has a sense of humor even when he’s trying to be serious

  15. Has this dimwit noticed that the segregation is only being pushed by liberal colleges and universities and black organizations? And the KKK, but they sure as hell do not represent me and real America. This man is a moron.

  16. I respect Bennett wanting to speak out against oppression, but the trouble is that people like him tend to only combat oppression selectively. It doesn’t get more oppressive than for a vocal, intolerant minority of people to force the removal of statues of historical figures who have been respected by people on BOTH sides of a civil war for more than a century. Most Confederate soldiers fought for their home States and loved ones, not caring about preserving slavery at all, but some people are now hell bent on erasing those honorable people from history (or worse, are trying to paint those people as evil when they were not). Yes, some responses to THAT oppression have been wrong too, but if you claim to be against oppression you need to be against it in all forms, or else you only serve to create new forms of it.

  17. As long as he doesn’t do/say things that actually hurt his message, wearing a shirt with a ruthless dictator and pig socks, Most people are probably fine with this.

  18. All things military, all the time. What in the hell is it with the military and sports?
    We make fun of other countries flaunting their military but here we are.

  19. redsoxu571 says:
    August 14, 2017 at 8:53 am

    Most Confederate soldiers fought for their home States and loved ones, not caring about preserving slavery at all, but some people are now hell bent on erasing those honorable people from history (or worse, are trying to paint those people as evil when they were not).
    ——————————————————————————————
    We acknowledge the Confederacy and their history. What we refuse to do is honor men who were traitors.

  20. bigmikeskinsfan says:

    August 14, 2017 at 8:05 am

    segregation in the military? Bennett is not that bright, obviously.

    Boot camp was a pile of 80 dudes from all around the country crammed in to one open bay barracks. The fleet was no different.

    I can’t wait for this guy to just go away.

    *******

    What the hell could you possibly be talking about? He was not talking about segragation in the military, he was talking in society in general. Like it or not, segregation still exists as evidenced by last Saturday’s party thrown by the KKK and every other racist group you can possibly think of. And on that point he’s right.

    Thousands of soldiers gave their lives so that Nazis would set foot on American soil. Lo and behold, now they walk unbothered with the tacit approval of the “president”. That’s what our society had stooped to.

  21. Haters just fall back to the “disrespecting military” excuse for only one of two reasons. Either they’re too simple minded to join the debate OR they are racists themselves and too cowardly too admit it.

    They voted in a repeated draft dodger who loves other dictators. So they’re hate of kap, Bennett etc has nothing to do with the military or that kap wears Castro shirts.

  22. So today just like yesterday, ya’ll are mad about Black millionaires standing up for voiceless people of color? Also if we’re going to call soldiers who fought for slavery honorable people, we might want to look up the word honorable because there is nothing remotely honorable about fighting for something that caused so many people harm.

  23. There’s no rational argument against what Bennett is saying, as many of the comments here plainly show.

    It’s okay to not like him or what he says or does, but that’s an emotional response. What he says is something every American should agree with.

  24. thegons13:

    What the hell could you possibly be talking about? He was not talking about segragation in the military, he was talking in society in general. Like it or not, segregation still exists as evidenced by last Saturday’s party thrown by the KKK and every other racist group you can possibly think of. And on that point he’s right.

    Thousands of soldiers gave their lives so that Nazis would set foot on American soil. Lo and behold, now they walk unbothered with the tacit approval of the “president”. That’s what our society had stooped to.
    _______________________________________________________

    do yourself a favor and read the article again.

  25. Equality, huh? Mike- you make quite a bit more than me despite my white privilege. As a little experiment, how bout you start sending me some Income Equalization Checks to balance out the gaps between our salaries…?

  26. Wait, so is he protesting all the black only events, colleges, award shows, etc? I guess he is being he is so against segregation and seems those are the most avid examples of segregation still going on in the US today. Oh yeah and the millionaire athletes who segregate themselves from society in their walled mansions. Yes please take a stand against all that segregation!

  27. gpete1962 says:
    August 14, 2017 at 6:20 am
    We all feel so sorry for you multi millionaire athletes who complain about being oppressed, Quit this racist game of football, go become a politician and go try to affect a real change in what you believe in. Until you commit to that, stop being a hypocrite and Just play the game
    —————————-

    A plantation is a plantation even if it comes with 60,000 seats and better food and amenities. The commenters here obviously have no clue of what it means to be black in America.

  28. I see the people defending the Nazis can’t read. Nazis are for segregation and your President couldn’t condemn them. He couldn’t call them out by their name because he supports them, so basically he’s saying he supports them and their agenda, which is segregation. Got it, or do we need to break it down for you a little more, or do you plan on hiding behind more reasons to put down peaceful protests to side with these hate mongers? God’s watching.

  29. The confederacy tried to secede from the United States, wouldn’t that be considered un-american? Also aren’t neo-nazi’s considered un-american? Just asking so I can understand.

  30. “First of all, I want people to understand that I love the military,” Bennett said, via ESPN.com. “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 doesn’t love riots? So what did he have to say about the riots in Baltimore and Missouri? I didn’t hear him denouncing those. To a large extent, the people who suffered most in those riots were the business owners who had their business looted and burned to the ground. What did they do to deserve that? Is Bennett talking about those riots? Somehow, I don’t think so.

  31. Nazi = bad
    Forced Segregation = bad
    Voluntary segregation = meh, do what you want to do

    You do not combat these issues by calling everyone else a racists, bigot, nazi, etc. I can disagree with your ideas or methods without hating the whole race you belong to or every notion you hold dear. Going full provocative was a great tool in the past but now it has been worn thin. You better come with a rational complaint accompanied by reasoned solutions otherwise you are just adding to the noise and drowning out the people who are actually looking at making positive change.

  32. mazenblue says:
    August 14, 2017 at 7:22 am
    Funny becasue the military is NOT segregated. Go protest somewhere else blind man
    _____________________________________________

    Just a few weeks ago, didn’t the military kick a group of people out (transgenders)? Tell me again about segregation.

  33. thegons13:

    What the hell could you possibly be talking about? He was not talking about segragation in the military, he was talking in society in general. Like it or not, segregation still exists as evidenced by last Saturday’s party thrown by the KKK and every other racist group you can possibly think of. And on that point he’s right.

    Thousands of soldiers gave their lives so that Nazis would set foot on American soil. Lo and behold, now they walk unbothered with the tacit approval of the “president”. That’s what our society had stooped to.

    —————————————-
    This…. still no. Im pretty sure we are unsegregated. And you want to talk about racist groups, how about BLM? Im pretty sure they are just as racist as the KKK.

  34. People are whining about a handful of million athletes complaining about being oppressed. They aren’t complaining about them personally being oppressed. It’s about an entire demographic that is being attacked in a system that is set up to cover up the mistreatment. Not all cops are bad. Most cops are good. But one bad cop undermines all the work of 100 good cops. Listen to what Ice Cube is saying. We need to get rid of the bad cops and hold the good cops up for their honest work. People act like facts and statistics aren’t real. A person is a person and needs to be treated as such.

  35. What a hypocrite! He doesn’t even understand what segregation is. Isn’t he segregating himself from his teammates by sitting down during the national anthem? This is just an attention grab by another clueless athlete.

  36. For someone to type BLM is as racist as the KKK is absolutely mind-boggling and shows an astounding amount of willful ignorance. First of all the KKK has been around for over a hundred years, brutally murdered, raped and beaten many people of color, terrorized them by putting burning crosses into peoples yards, bombed predominantly African American churches and has continued to thrive. Don’t let your hate for someones skin color cloud your judgement, I do understand that there is a faction of commentators on this site who share repugnant and falsified views, but please for the sake of future generation, get out of your comfort zone, confront the issues going on in this country and be part of the solution, not the problem. I hope many of you find it in your hearts to look at things from the other side of the spectrum and begin to formulate factual opinons.

  37. Also to think an athlete is doing this for self-promotion or as an attention grab is absolutely insane. I think most athletes would prefer not to have to talk about these subjects, but due to relevance and experiences are forced too. Dudes are on TV 24/7, how much more attention and media coverage do you ideally think people actually want?

  38. As somebody who has condemned Kaep since the beginning of this, let me say that I respect and applaud Bennett for this. Although I do not agree that sitting through the anthem will bring the desired focus where it should be, at least he is being honest. I can’t speak for everyone that disagrees with Kaep obviously, but for me it wasn’t about kneeling during the anthem so much as it was the “pig” socks and the Castro shirt. By wearing those socks it seemed that he succeeded in raising more hatred than awareness. While Bennett’s methods may not be right in my opinion, he is being a man and explaining himself.

  39. As somebody who has condemned Kaep since the beginning of this, let me say that I respect and applaud Bennett for this. Although I do not agree that sitting through the anthem will bring the desired focus where it should be, at least he is being honest. I can’t speak for everyone that disagrees with Kaep obviously, but for me it wasn’t about kneeling during the anthem so much as it was the “pig” socks and the Castro shirt. By wearing those socks it seemed that he succeeded in raising more hatred than awareness. While Bennett’s methods may not be right in my opinion, he is being a man and explaining himself.

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