When Michael Bennett got traded from the New England Patriots to the Dallas Cowboys, questions immediately came up on whether he would be staying in the locker room for the National Anthem, just as he had done while playing with the Pats.
That questioned was answered when he was viewed on the sidelines and standing during the first game with the team, which marked the first time he had done so since 2016.
Despite what people may thing, the Cowboys defensive lineman said owner Jerry Jones has not asked him to stand for the national anthem. He made the decision after speaking with his new teammates.
“I feel at this point in my career, if my teammates asked me to do something and I can do it,” Bennett told Clarence E. Hill Jr. of the Star-Telegram. “I know people want make it what it what they want to. I don’t know what to tell them.”
“Right now I am just enjoying this game, enjoying these seven games, enjoying myself and trying to be a kid out there again. I am an old man right now. I am just trying to stay as young as I can.”
Bennett sat during the anthem in 2017 when he was with the Seattle Seahawks in protest of inequality and police brutality, but then began staying in the locker room last season as a member of the Philadelphia Eagles.
Aside from his playing career, Bennett also published a book in 2018 titled “Things That Make White People Uncomfortable,” which touches on topics of “racism and police violence, black athletes and their relationship to powerful institutions like the NCAA and the NFL, the role of protest in history, and the responsibilities of athletes as role models to speak out against injustice.”
“This is doesn’t take away what I have done … and the stances that I took, the death threats I have had on my life. I have done it all,” Bennett said. “I don’t think it makes me less of a person or makes them less of people. At the end of the day, people get caught into certain things and don’t get caught up into what people are doing to change society. We all are men. We are all trying to figure it out. None of us are finished products when it comes to society.
“I am a black man,” Bennett continued. “I have always said that. I have always stood on what I have believed in every single situation whether it’s with Donald Trump, whether it was with the police, whether it was with police brutality, how women of color have been treated, how much money I have donated to different things, the causes I have stood up with, the people I have stood with. It doesn’t make me less of a person.”
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