When Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett made his call to action to NFL players, the one he seemed to single out by name for not being vocal enough was Panthers quarterback Cam Newton.
But Bennett has since made another call.
A source close to the situation tells PFT that Bennett has since called to personally apologize to Newton for dragging him into the conversation.
“Our great players are sitting back just taking the dollars, whether it’s Cam Newton, all these guys,” Bennett said while discussing the need for athletes to be more outspoken on social matters. “They’re not really on the forefront of trying to change what’s going on.”
Bennett also referenced Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers, but in the context of the “Black Lives Matter” t-shirt he was wearing, mentioning Newton so explicitly was harsh.
While Newton has certainly made himself available to be a marketing machine, he’s also been extremely active in his own community. Often, those measures are taken quietly, such as his visit to the families of victims in Charleston after the church shootings there last year.
While Bennett’s greater point has some validity — too many NFL players and the league as a whole only take safe, easy to sell positions — singling out one player for anything he does or not do dilutes the point.
And Bennett seems to have realized that.