It’s been a week since Seahawks defensive lineman Michael Bennett disclosed that he had an encounter with Las Vegas police on August 26. On Wednesday, Bennett appeared on Good Morning America to discuss the situation.
Bennett said the incident, which he contends included having a gun pointed at his head, “changed me, spiritually.”
“Every time I see my wife, I try to kiss her like it’s the first time we ever met,” Bennett added. “Every time I play with my daughters I try to hold them like they were just born. Because I don’t know. And the situation right there just made it a reality for me that . . . it could happen at any moment.”
Bennett feared being shot by police, after Bennett ran from the sound of shots being fired.
“I’m terrified,” Bennett said. “I’m literally just, like, worried if I make the wrong decision . . . if I move too fast, if I twitch, and somebody says I’m resisting . . . because I’m a big guy, you know what I’m saying?”
Bennett continues to explain his belief that the decision to not stand for the national anthem isn’t un-American.
“I think it’s un-American what happened to me, having guns drawn on me,” Bennett said. “I say it’s un-American what happened to Eric Garner. It’s un-American, what happened to Trayvon Martin. It’s un-American that there’s . . . no equality for people. . . . What I’m doing is . . . it’s the most American thing that you could do, is fight for equality for everybody, and have a unity for the country.”
As people continue to take issue with players using the anthem as a platform for bringing attention to causes they find meaningful, fans continue to disrespect the anthem without any real purpose for doing so.
“This past game we heard guys even in the moment of silence for the hurricane victims . . . I heard people shouting and being to me disrespectful,” Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin said on Wednesday’s PFT Live. “But again everybody has their own opinion. They have their own beliefs. It is what it is. For me personally the reason why I stated that and why I thought it was important is because as athletes we have a platform. We have an opportunity to speak up about social issues that we feel dearly about. And I know that some fans could say that you’re being paid to put on this product. And I agree with them wholeheartedly. They’re not being paid to stand in the stands. They’re actually paying to come to the games. They don’t necessarily have a platform in that particular instance to make a social topic relevant. So why is it difficult for fans to understand that and also to just follow suit as well to stand for the national anthem if they feel so strongly about that? There’s a broader topic here, a broader conversation. My point is we’re all imperfect human beings. Why can’t we just inject some more empathy and understanding instead of just pointing the finger all the time?”
Empathy and understanding. What a concept. It’s apparently a concept that, for many, has become way too elusive.