Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett took a temporary break from the #TakeAKnee protests against racial injustice. Bennett stood to honor the military — and to make a point. Thursday's game was host Arizona Cardinals' Salute to Service night, and Bennett stood to send a clear message that players are not disrespecting American troops.
It was to signify that we are all with the military, and that we love them. There’s been this narrative that we don’t care about the military. Today, we were honoring the military, so we wanted to be able to honor the military. I know a lot of people did not expect us to stand. They have this narrative about us that is not true. I have a lot of family that were military. It’s never been about the military. If there is an opportunity to support them and be grateful for what they do, and the sacrifices, we want to be able to do that.
Bennett has stood for the anthem on one other occasion since joining the protest Colin Kaepernick started last season: the game following the domestic terrorist mass shooting in Las Vegas.
Michael Bennett told NBC he stood for the Anthem tonight in advance of Veterans Day to make it clear he supports the military, Mike Tirico just said on the broadcast.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) November 10, 2017
Shit, it’s almost like they’re not protesting the flag or troops at all!— Robb Dogg (@The_Dogghouse) November 10, 2017
They know already. But it doesn't give them a reason to be hateful, soooo...— The Best Kept Secret (@Houston_TheReal) November 10, 2017
Here’s an idea. How about he stand all the time to show support for our military?..🤷🏼♀️— Karen (@KDay1937) November 10, 2017
So he selectively disrespects the American flag how special of a guy— Chris Champion🍀 (@coolbearcjs) November 10, 2017
Michael Bennett stood in support of #VeteransDay2017, but will be kneeling subsequent weeks. Can we kill this false narrative that they are disrespecting troops and it is about criminal justice reform ?! #SEAvsAZ #Seattle #Seahawks #Arizona #ArizonaCardinals— Joseph Puopolo (@jpuopolo) November 10, 2017
And managed to get a little dialogue going:
I believe you fail to understand the other side. There's a difference between people thinking they're protesting the troops and people feeling it's disrespectful to the troops/nation. They feel disrespected themselves by the timing rather than the reason.— Joe (@Joersweeney) November 10, 2017
I understand your point and opinion, however isn't the ability to protest a greater symbol of the freedoms soldiers fought for than the actual flag itself.— Joseph Puopolo (@jpuopolo) November 10, 2017
I get that and they have every right to do it, but freedom of speech isn't freedom from consequences for the speech or actions you take. They're seeking the outrage to prove their point so they can't be surprised when met with it.— Joe (@Joersweeney) November 10, 2017
Making someone angry or uncomfortable is usually the bedrock of protests so I'm not saying they're doing something different either. I think most of it morphed into a protest against the President rather than the true cause. Also at this point, who isn't aware of their position?— Joe (@Joersweeney) November 10, 2017
That's not really for me to figure out. My point is just the goal was awareness and now everyone is aware. Perhaps the next step is running for office to bring change. Most have enough money to run locally at a minimum.— Joe (@Joersweeney) November 10, 2017
Baby steps in the right direction?