Ex-NFL TE Martellus Bennett Says Packers Cut Him Over National Anthem Protests

The Super Bowl Champ Said He Received Death Threats Over Stance

Sep 10, 2017; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers tight end Martellus Bennett (80) holds his fist in the air during the national anthem prior to the game against the Seattle Seahawks at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Former Green Bay Packers tight end Martellus Bennett unleashed a series of tweets this past Saturday, Oct. 23, detailing the incidents he said led to his brief stint with the team in 2017.

The tweets are pretty damning, alleging collusion as well as death threats received by the former Pro Bowl player over his national anthem protests.

Bennett signed a three-year $21 million dollar contract in March of 2017, and was waived by the Packers Packers after only seven games on Nov. 8, 2017, citing a failure to disclose a medical condition designation.

According to Bennett’s Twitter thread, he was released because of his protest against racial injustice during the national anthem and the influence he had over the young Black players in the locker room.

The NFL should have no credibility with its fans or the public whenever a player makes accusations like this. The league, its owners, and franchises have a long and sordid history of being racist at best, and downright insidious, abhorrent, and intentional at worst.

You don’t even need to go back any further than the last few years. The Colin Kaepernick situation, the league using race norming to cheat Black players out of benefits, the awful minority hiring record. The NFL’s transgressions are so lengthy, you could devote thousands of pages.

What’s particularly egregious about Bennett’s situation, is the length the Packers go to in the name of protecting and coddling their racist fans. It borders on collusion.

Bennett alleges that team physician Dr. McKenzie and the higher-ups used an injury Bennett suffered as a loophole to get rid of him.

As proof, Bennett says he won his lawsuit against the Packers when they tried to recoup his signing bonus. A common practice of NFL teams for breach of contract.

Everyone remembers the firestorm of the national anthem protests. Fans loudly booed players for doing anything but standing in deference during the playing of the national anthem.

That was before the NFL’s bumbling of its idea to play the Black national anthem before games this season, after a year of paying lip service to Black Lives Matter and social justice causes.

Former president Donald Trump even used the anthem protests as a dog whistle for his radical base and their anti-Black sentiments. Is it so strange to think Bennett would receive death threats?

Football locker rooms, like much of America, are made up of disparate groups. Much like America, those in positions of privilege don’t bother to listen or understand where others are coming from. The move is always to find a quick solution.

But when has that ever worked?

We have over 450 years of evidence of the lengths to which people go to using power to maintain a system of white supremacy. The NFL is no different. It is a microcosm of the larger society of which it inhabits.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result. Maybe Martellus Bennett’s Twitter thread is more of the same. What do we expect this bit of information to do in the larger context of how franchises operate?

Perhaps this is part of a larger plan to expose more dirt. But, it seems as though there’s no shortage of that these days. We all know the ills of NFL, and before the end of this current season, there is likely to be something else damning that comes out.

Hopefully this isn’t all becoming white noise that lasts for a brief moment before something else fills the void.