Michael Bennett: It was “emotional” to get support from Justin Britt


When Michael Bennett said the national anthem protests of certain players would only gain traction if white players were with them, he couldn’t have known it would trigger a bit of a movement of its own.

First, Eagles defensive end Chris Long put his arm around the shoulder of teammate Malcolm Jenkins, while Jenkins held his fist in the air. Then, Seahawks center Justin Britt put a hand on Bennett’s shoulder as he sat for the anthem, and Raiders quarterback Derek Carr and Khalil Mack stood with arms around each other to display their unity.

A very emotional moment to have that kind of solidarity from someone like Justin Britt, who’s a known leader in our locker room, who’s from a different part of America than me,” Bennett said, via Sheil Kapadia of ESPN.com. “But to be able to have that solidarity and to be able to have somebody who is behind me and know that it’s someone that I really trust, and to see him put everything on the line to support one of his teammates, I thought that was a very special moment.”

Britt said Bennett’s words last week struck a chord with him, and he wanted to set an example for his children and others.

“I want to support him,” Britt said. “I want to support what he stands for and his beliefs. I’m not foolish. I’m from Missouri. I get that things are different in that area than they are in some other areas. I’m not against what the flag means and veterans. My dad was in the Army. So I’m not putting any disrespect to them. I’m just trying to understand the issues, trying to educate myself more in that regard and showing support.

“And I’m going to continue to understand what’s going on in the world and why it’s happening. Because none of it’s right. None of it’s what should be happening. I’m going to continue talking with Mike and exploring and just helping myself understand things. I wanted to take a first step tonight. And that’s what I felt like I did.”

Last year during the early stages of the Colin Kaepernick protests, the Seahawks stood with arms linked on the sidelines during the anthem, and coach Pete Carroll said he appreciated the gesture.

“I think in this time that we’re facing, this is more important than ever,” Carroll said. “There’s a lot of growth that needs to take place for us to accomplish the change that needs to be dealt with. It’s absolutely imperative that guys from both sides of the fence come together and learn and be open and support. And these guys are going to show you that. They’re working at it. They understand that there’s issues and concerns that we have difficulty talking about. But I know our team is working at it, and they’re determined to try and make things better by the way they all share their own connection and learn how to make statements and understand and be respectful towards one another.

“I particularly like that that was the illustration. It warmed my heart to hear that that’s what happened. Those guys got some brains. They’re thinking about it. They’re thinking about it very seriously. This is not just some frivolous thing where somebody made a mistake and sat down. This is guys working at it and guys trying to figure out how to help and how to make some sense for other people too. We’re just a football team, but our guys care, and I’m really proud of them.”

And it appears other players are following Bennett’s lead, which could lead to something even greater.

18 responses to “Michael Bennett: It was “emotional” to get support from Justin Britt

  1. Marshawn Lynch is now is my favorite active NFL player #iknowmyrights!!! says

    What do all you bigots have to say when people like Bennett and BLM members asks for people of all colors to join the moment but yet KKK, white supermarket won’t even have a fellow white join if they’re dating another race or hell even have a black person blood transfusion!!!

    You might come off as a lot more credible if you didn’t sound so aggressive in your statement. This isn’t the way to bring people together. Your attitude is very divisive.

    And just for the record, I’m a white 63 year old female, with 3 African American members in my immediate family( who I love very much), my husband was a police chief for 28 years and I am a Republican who does not support Trump and neither did I think Hillary was the answer to our prayers. See how diversified I am?

  2. Furtherance of a generated problem by a bunch of prima donas. And there’s no reason that this is continued the way it is.

  3. you’ll never get people on your side, if you start off by insulting them or doing something that makes them mad. Why is that so hard to understand?

  4. He sez blacks need white people to join huh. There’s a first. This will be interesting if Seattle now becomes the media center for this issue. The Seahawks are not on solid ground like they were. Hope this doesn’t become a distraction. NOT!

  5. ““But to be able to have that solidarity and to be able to have somebody who is behind me and know that it’s someone that I really trust, and to see him put everything on the line to support one of his teammates …

    Nah, the Americans who are fighting in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen and 43+ other places are putting it all on the line, for the flag you are rejecting because of one slice of our many domestic problems.

    Find another way to make a difference … other than disrespecting our flag.


  6. Team unity always good.

    But the social justice warriors won’t be happy until white, yellow, brown, black, etc all SIT for the national anthem. They want unity in bringing the team down instead of STANDING TOGETHER.

  7. How ironic that Bennett appreciated the support from a team mate, because it’s one of the things we do when we stand to show respect for the flag. We remember the millions of brave people who have sacrificed all they had so we have the freedom to watch and play a game. We stand to SUPPORT and Recognize the love ones who were left behind… We stand united as one team that share a common passion and field… We stand as a community. The sitting or kneeling serves one purpose: division.

  8. Boy the number of miserable people on this post is enough to make you want to hand in your running shoes and exit the human race. Borderline reprobate, the lot of you.

  9. Why do they only protest on Sunday? I hope when he calls 911, the call taker gets on her political soap box before she renders him any help. I hope when Bennett goes to buy something at the store, the cashier preaches at him for a bit, you know, for buying fat burgers.

    How about when he goes to a restaurant, does he want the waiter to start running his mouth about his beliefs? How come Bennett can’t protest in the off-season, or Monday – Saturday??

    Good grief, we’re all sick of it. Can we just watch football please?

  10. Good move by Britt. This is an example of a guy who stepped outside of his comfort zone to bridge a gap. Whatever Bennett’s problem is, Seattle needs him this season. What Britt is doing is bringing solidarity to the team. Which is probably a better example to Bennett’s kids than Bennett is to Britt’s.

  11. And they are NOT social justice “warriors”. How about social justice snowflakes instead. I mean what effort, what sacrifice, what blood, or what sweat is really being demonstrated here – sitting on the bench?

  12. Seems they should be protesting the issue of domestic abuse . . . . highly prevalent among NFL athletes.

  13. Mr. Wright 212 says:
    Boy the number of miserable people on this post is enough to make you want to hand in your running shoes and exit the human race. Borderline reprobate, the lot of you.
    Please do, exit that is. I don’t think you’ll be missed.

  14. I think the biggest misconception with these protests is that athletes have an anti-police/anti-military stance. For one, I don’t know how anybody can think that when a majority of these guys have members of both law enforcement and the military in their families. Hell, Michael Bennett’s dad is a military veteran. 100 percent of these guys recognize that there are good cops out there, but it’s the few who have chosen to abuse their power or have been in situations they’re too scared to handle properly that has led to these protests. This isn’t a new issue in Black America, this is something that’s been going on for many many years and needs to be addressed. I know somebody is going to comment on this post and ask, well what about black on black crime, and here’s my answer. That’s an issue that many of these athletes work to combat through camps, several community initiatives etc, however, the problem right now is excessive force and the murders of unarmed African Americans by the very same people who have been asked to serve and protect these communities. In order for change, one must be made uncomfortable, and this is the perfect way to do so.

  15. Should fans protest the off field actions of NFL players that results in jail time and suspensions?

    The facts don’t support this silly protest.

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