Michael Bennett Explains How A White Player Protesting The National Anthem 'Would Change The Whole Conversation'

"I think when that happens, things will really take a jump."

Michael Bennett gave the media a detailed explanation about why he sat during the national anthem before his Seattle Seahawks walloped the Los Angeles Chargers in preseason action on Sunday.

But the Seahawks defensive end believes that the impact of his silent protest, that of his former teammate, Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch, this past weekend, and Colin Kaepernick's all last season could grow exponentially if a white NFL player were to sit or kneel during the national anthem as well.

"It would take a white player to really get things changed because when somebody from the other side understands and they step up and they speak up about it ... it would change the whole conversation," Bennett said on ESPN's SC6, as reported by "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."

This comes days after Bennett explained his protest during the national anthem and why he will continue to do it for the entire 2017 NFL season.

“First of all I want to make sure people understand I love the military — my father was in the military,” Bennett said, as reported by the Seattle Times. “I love hot dogs like any other American. I love football like any other American. But I don’t love segregation, I don’t love riots, I don’t love oppression. I don’t love gender slander. I just want to see people have the equality that they deserve, and I want to be able to use this platform to continuously push the message and keep finding out how unselfish we can be in society, how we can continuously love one another and understand that people are different."

He added: "And just because people are different doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t like them. Just because they don’t eat what you eat, just because they don’t pray to the same God you pray to doesn’t mean you should hate them. Whether it is Muslim, whether it is Buddhist, whether it is Christianity, I just want people to understand that no matter what, we need to stay together. It’s more about being a human being at this point.”

Do you agree that the impact of players' protests would be heightened if a white player were to sit or kneel during the anthem as well?

BET Sports News — Get the latest news and information about African-Americans in sports, including weekly recaps, celebrity news and photos of your favorite Black athletes.

Latest News

Subscribe for BET Updates

Provide your email address to receive our newsletter.

By clicking Subscribe, you confirm that you have read and agree to our Terms of Use and acknowledge our Privacy Policy. You also agree to receive marketing communications, updates, special offers (including partner offers) and other information from BET and the Paramount family of companies. You understand that you can unsubscribe at any time.