Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett has been at the forefront with his support for Colin Kaepernick and has been vocal in addressing the social plagues in our country, most recently, the horrors in Charlottesville.
Athlete Responses To Charlottesville
Successful civil rights movements of any kind in America have the important element of whites joining Blacks in their struggle for equality, and this union has often boosted the legitimacy of the cause to those that cant see past color and helped in finding common ground for a national solution.
In an appearance on ESPN’s “SC6” with Michael Smith and Jemele Hill, Bennett says he believes the NFL needs white players to step forward and speak out on this issue.
ICYMI: @mosesbread72 joined #TheSix and told us why he decided to protest, & why white players should join the fight https://t.co/sblYFIankk
“It would take a white player to really get things changed,” Bennett said. “Because when somebody from the other side understands and they step up and they speak up about it … it would change the whole conversation. Because when you bring somebody who doesn’t have to be a part of [the] conversation making himself vulnerable in front of it, I think when that happens, things will really take a jump.”
One of Kaepernick’s major issues since he kneeled for the national anthem a season ago and martyred himself for the good of the country, was that he didnt have the philosophical support of white liberals. Most of them just dont think kneeling for the anthem is good in any way. Sicking dogs on black kids and fire-hosing old ladies of color is easy for a white person to detest and fight against.
Justifying keeling during the anthem, which is largely viewed as disrespectful to the many veterans who died fighting for our country, is a tougher issue for white American with deep family, neighborhood and cultural ties to military and law enforcement to support.
Bennett feels that the refusal of people to speak out against this violence being perpetrated towards people of color is allowing a nasty exchange of race warring to increase daily and snowball into something that tears communities down and fractures societies.
Michael Bennett stands up for Kap.
“Over the weekend, so much violence, so much hate,” Bennett told Smith and Hill. “I just wanted to remember why we were American citizens, remember the freedom, the liberty and the equality, make sure we never forget that. I really wanted to honor that, the founding principles of what we’re all supposed to be. Charlottesville was so crazy, so much going on in the world now, it just made sense.”
According to cbssports.com, The Seahawks’ defender preached kindness between individuals when he explained why he would continue to sit for the national anthem throughout the 2017 season.
“Whether it’s Muslim or Buddhists or Christianity, whatever it is, I just want people to understand that no matter what, we’re in this thing together,” Bennett said after the preseason game. “It’s more about being a human being at this point.”
Part of the problem with finding a “white player” willing to speak out, Bennett believes, is the backlash against Colin Kaepernick. Bennett has previously stated he believes Kap is being blackballed by the NFL and said Wednesday he believes “players were scared” of the reaction Kaepernick received.
“He had to sacrifice. He spoke up and dealt with a lot of things that were going on — from death threats, people not wanting him in the stadium, people hating him,” Bennett said. “I think a lot of players were scared of that. Then on top of that, players feeling like he was being blackballed, people were eventually scared.
“But now, just because he’s out of the league, we didn’t want to lose that message, pushing for liberty and equality for everybody. We just wanted to keep that message alive.”
Colin Kaepernick Blackball Quotes Vol. 2
Its obvious that the message is still being lost because kneeling down during the anthem is rubbing a lot of people the wrong way. The symbolism of the act – the way Kaepernick and Bennett intended it – and the way it’s still perceived is crossed and distorted in 1000 different directions at this point.
With most players, owners and executives still against kneeling for the anthem, it will be hard to see white players joining a cause that originated with Kaepernick taking a knee. The brothers are on their own with this one.