Seahawks scrubbed Michael Bennett’s comments on Cam Newton from transcript and video

AP

On Saturday, Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett specifically called out Panthers quarterback Cam Newton as one of the league’s “great players” who are “just sitting back, taking the dollars.” As it turns out, the Seahawks tried to take those words out of Bennett’s mouth.

The reference to Cam Newton came from the story written by Sheil Kapadia of ESPN.com. The reference to Cam Newton specifically was removed from the official transcript, with the key sentence saying only this: “Our great players are just sitting back, taking the dollars. …”

The actual quote? “Our great players are sitting back just taking the dollars, whether it’s Cam Newton, all these guys.”

It gets better (or worse, as the case may be). The reference to Newton (along with the surrounding context) was spliced out of the video of the Bennett press conference posted on the team’s official website. Go to the 6:25 mark. You’ll see that Bennett’s head blurs and the audio becomes glitchy. Here’s what was removed from the video: “Whether it’s Peyton Manning or Aaron Rodgers, all of these guys, they don’t have to deal with the things that we deal with as black players so it’s not as many. In the NBA everybody is standing up for it, so the greatest players are in the forefront of movement, in the NFL, the greatest players aren’t in the forefront of the movement. Whether it’s the CBA, whether it’s things going on with trying to change the way – concussions. The greatest players are involved, like LeBron James, Chris Paul and all these guys. Our great players are just sitting back, taking the dollars, whether it’s Cam Newton, all these guys. They’re not really on the forefront of trying to change what’s going on.”

Absent the Newton reference, that passage made its way into the transcript; presumably, the decision to take even more out of the video was aimed at finding the best way to allow the resulting content to make sense — and to make the splicing seem less conspicuous.

Apart from the fact that this incident underscores the dangers of league- and team-owned media (without Kapadia’s blurb on ESPN.com, we wouldn’t have seen the Cam Newton comment), the question becomes why did the Seahawks remove the reference to Cam Newton? The obvious explanation is that they didn’t want to create a problem with one of Seattle’s most potent NFC rivals. The deeper explanation could be far more intriguing.

When Bennett says “[o]ur great players are just sitting back, taking the dollars, whether it’s Cam Newton, all these guys,” one of “these guys” who took even more dollars than Cam Newton plays for the Seahawks. And Russell Wilson is hardly a guy who takes stands on social issues.

Indeed, Russell Wilson’s press conference from that same day makes it clear he has no interest in doing anything other than striking a balance that keeps everyone happy and/or avoids making anyone upset — and generally keeping a profile no different than the one he’d occupy if he weren’t a professional athlete.

“Well I think we all have a responsibility,” Wilson said. “It’s not just on athletes, it’s not just on coaches, it’s not just on anybody in particular. It’s on all of us. I think ultimately it comes down to love and appreciating one another and respect for one another. Black lives obviously matter, of course they do and we have to treat it that way. Also, police lives matter too and everybody’s lives matter. I think about it like I don’t want it to be my kids one day, that’s really where you kind of feel it and that’s the way you have to think about it for all of us. It’s an appreciation for society, an appreciation for the country we live in, an appreciation for the towns and cities that we live in. Ultimately, it comes down to all of us to make sure we appreciate one another.”

The Seahawks apparently didn’t appreciate what Bennett said regarding Newton; otherwise, it wouldn’t have been scrubbed from the transcript and video. (PFT has requested an explanation from the Seahawks, who have not yet responded.)

It will be interesting to see whether Bennett’s views and Wilson’s approach create friction in the locker room. It also will be interesting to see whether Bennett continues to be vocal unless and until he gets the new contract he wants.

35 responses to “Seahawks scrubbed Michael Bennett’s comments on Cam Newton from transcript and video

  1. I’m not a big RW fan, but he and Cam both give a lot of their time to charity and community events. All Michael Bennett does is talk about other peoples’ business in the media.

  2. I don’t like either of the Bennett brothers. To be honest, they both strike me as knuckleheads. BUT, erasing an employee’s comments from the record because you are (obviously) afraid of the social backlash is complete BS.

  3. It’s pathetic that someone who has done nothing but cry for more money since signing his contract, wants to call out other players for only being concerned about money, and then playing the race card. Do you have no shame?!

  4. I’m sure the asshats who were up in arms about the Pats scrubbing Belichick’s JC bomb from their transcripts last week will also be equally upset with the 12s here…

  5. If you follow the money trail to BLM, it’s radical leftists and communists exploiting racial division to promote marxism.

    It will die off after the elections, and especially after Obama is out of office in January.

  6. Blame it on Pete Carroll and his loose ship, players coach, rah rah, lack of discipline, coaching and leadership style. This would never happen under Belichick which proves once again why he is the GOAT.

  7. …Bennett got a large contract (at THAT time) to jump ship from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 4 or 5 years ago…..BUT the market changed the following year and he’s been crying ever since. Too bad.

  8. The automatic criticism of Cam has been perpetrated by the media and haters alike since the beginning of last season, especially is cases where the ones doing the criticizing are usually guilty themselves. I take it as a compliment, though. People wouldn’t constantly come after the Panthers like this if they weren’t the biggest threat.

    Panthers, KEEP POUNDING!
    Haters, keep hating!

  9. bigbroncomama says:
    Aug 1, 2016 12:59 PM
    Please wake me when Camera actually can think about anyone or anything other than himself.
    —-
    You mean other than CAM’s constant charity work, numerous fundraising benefits, and children’s television show? Sounds like you’ve been asleep long enough, Big Mama.

  10. lapantherfan86 says:
    Aug 1, 2016 1:01 PM
    The automatic criticism of Cam has been perpetrated by the media and haters alike since the beginning of last season, especially is cases where the ones doing the criticizing are usually guilty themselves. I take it as a compliment, though. People wouldn’t constantly come after the Panthers like this if they weren’t the biggest threat.

    Panthers, KEEP POUNDING!
    Haters, keep hating!

    —————-
    Cam created his own controversy by acting like a tool when he was beating up on lesser teams and then culminating with him showing his true colors when he came up small and refused to try and recover his own fumble in the biggest game of his life.

  11. lapantherfan86 says:
    Aug 1, 2016 1:01 PM

    The automatic criticism of Cam has been perpetrated by the media and haters alike since the beginning of last season, especially is cases where the ones doing the criticizing are usually guilty themselves. I take it as a compliment, though. People wouldn’t constantly come after the Panthers like this if they weren’t the biggest threat.

    Panthers, KEEP POUNDING!
    Haters, keep hating!

    ……………..
    You must’ve missed his first Pro Bowl. Must’ve missed his pouting on the sidelines. Btw, leaders dont pout on the sidelines. Must’ve missed most of immature character.

  12. kitmandew says:
    Aug 1, 2016 1:12 PM
    Carolina Panthers…your next Super Bowl Champions…..not even close….. Keep Pounding!

    Only a witless unimaginative coward uses a team’s slogan against them without revealing who they root for themselves. Fact.

    MAYBE Carolina will win the SB this year, maybe they won’t. My 21 year fandom obviously isn’t based on that stat. But, unless kitmandew is a Bronco fan, the Panthers were closer to a ring than his team was last year and I’m willing to bet they’ll be closer again this year.

  13. Glad Michael spoke out. What he’s saying is Cam has a platform to speak out on social injustice! Just because he sbows up at a charity event or give someone a ball, is going have an overall effect on police brutality, or modern day racism? He’ll understand if he loses he’s son Chosen to this type of nonsense

  14. Blatant sensorship. The teams and the league only want us to hear what they wan us to hear. Total eh holes. I’m sure the league will have an “all lives matter” month where the players have to wear some ridiculous colour and the nfl will donate 1% of 1% of all sales to the cause like they do with breast cancer.

  15. There are different kinds of social issues. Russell Wilson has been extraordinarily involved with the social issue of helping sick children. And by the way, he has been doing that since his very first year–when he made relatively little money and even before he was named as the starter that year (during the pre-season).

    It is a sincere commitment to the social issue of his choice.

  16. Players should be banned from making political statements, especially those containing racist undertones.

    Your fans like you for what you can do on the field and in the community. We couldn’t care less about your political views.

  17. staff2cj says:
    Aug 1, 2016 1:25 PM
    Glad Michael spoke out. What he’s saying is Cam has a platform to speak out on social injustice! Just because he sbows up at a charity event or give someone a ball, is going have an overall effect on police brutality, or modern day racism? He’ll understand if he loses he’s son Chosen to this type of nonsense
    ———————–

    Don’t like “social injustice”? Get a job. Get an education. Raise your kids. Act morally.

    Funny that this “injustice” follows a pattern. Those that claim “injustice” do not follow the norms or laws of a civilized society then claim they are being discriminated against and that the society needs to change.

    Society does not need to change. The slackers, criminals, and immoral dregs need to change and adhere to the social construct.

  18. I enjoy all the whining by posters here.

    I get it too.

    You’re all worried about the Hawks.

    Makes sense.

    Deepest since the 2013 season when the Hawks boat raced the NFL.

    I’d be worried too.

  19. Sounds to me like Loretta Lynch is behind this one. Loretta is just the latest proof that affirmative action doesn’t work. Like Eric Holder, Susan Rice, Jeh Johnson, and yes, most of all, Barry Obama.

  20. I am so sick of black people playing the perpetual victim card. I’d like to see jerks like this guy and Cam Newton start leading by example and bedding only one woman and marrying her before dropping babies all over the place.

    It is time black men start acting like men and marrying the mother of their children instead of collecting baby mommas like trading cards.

    When these jerks stand by their woman and their families and give your sons something as a role model, we’ll end the need for black men to constantly whine they are victims.

    And the police kill far more white young men than blacks.

    (because of the last decade of whinings of the black community, I have given up giving a flying monkey about how black people are treated. My white guilt is over. )

  21. I am so sick of black people playing the perpetual victim card. I’d like to see jerks like this guy and Cam Newton start leading by example and bedding only one woman and marrying her before dropping babies all over the place.

    It is time black men start acting like men and marrying the mother of their children instead of collecting baby mommas like trading cards.

    When these jerks stand by their woman and their families and give your sons something as a role model, we’ll end the need for black men to constantly whine they are victims.

    And the police kill far more white young men than blacks.

    (because of the last decade of whinings of the black community, I have given up giving a flying monkey about how black people are treated. My white guilt is over. )

    ———————-

    There’s a lot of judging in your post, and inaccuracies. Don’t know much about Bennett, but Cam only has one kid, and appears to still be in a relationship with the mother of his child. So he’s not dropping babies all over the place.

    And what evidence do you have to show that police kill far more young white men, than blacks? Or are you guessing that because white people are the majority, that there are many more available to be killed? And does that even matter? Is there some kind of competition between which race gets killed more by the police?

    Finally, black people don’t care about your “white guilt”. Blacks don’t complain about social injustice so that white people feel guilty, we complain with the hopes of forcing change. And if years of black people complaining about being unjustly harassed by the police caused you to no longer care how black people are treated, then it sounds like you never cared to begin with.

    I mean how does that even make sense? That’s like my kid coming home from school and complaining about getting sexually harassed by another student, and I’m like, “You complain about this all the time. I no longer care if you’re sexually harassed.”

    Be real.

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