Seattle Seahawks DE Michael Bennett Wants NFL players to Speak Out On Social Issues
Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett is one of the few NFL players who will speak out on controversial topics that impact society. And now he wants the NFL’s most prominent players to be more vocal since their stage is a lot bigger than his.
During a press conference Saturday, Bennett proudly wore his ‘Black Lives Matter’ shirt and made it a point to state how NBA & WNBA players seem to speak out way more on social issues than NFL players because of fear of losing endorsements or the backlash they will have to deal with.
“If you want to be a great influencer … you can’t really let the marketing dollars control you because brands control everything,” Bennett told reporters Saturday. “I think the women in the WNBA have really stood up for what they want. Most of the players in the NFL are black, 90-80 percent of them. But the NFL is broken; you don’t see a lot of great players talking about things socially.”
Just recently, a bunch of WNBA players wore ‘Black Lives Matter’ shirts with a Dallas PD emblem on it. They were fined $5K for doing so. They didn’t let that deter them as they protested the decision by not taking any questions from reporters unless it was about BLM. The WNBA rescinded the fines.
The women and WNBA have really stood up for what they want, and I think that it’s time for the players in the NFL. But a lot of things in the NFL are so broken. You don’t see a lot of great players talking about things socially, whether it’s Peyton Manning or Aaron Rodgers, all of these guys, they’re white. They don’t have to deal with the things that we deal with as black players, so it’s not as many. In the NBA … the greatest players are at the forefront of the movement,” Bennett said.
“Here in the NFL, the greatest players aren’t in the forefront of the movement. Whether it’s the CBA, whether it’s things going on with changing concussions – the greatest players aren’t involved like LeBron James or Chris Paul. Our great players are sitting back taking the dollars, whether it’s Cam Newton, all these guys, they’re just not at the forefront of trying to change what’s going on. As a great player, you have to remember that there was people who came before you.”