The NFL has had a tough season. Fewer fans watching, more boycotting games and sponsors pulling their ads. This has all been a direct result of players kneeling during the National Anthem. With Veterans Day occurring this week, all eyes will be on the players waiting to see what they do.
Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett spoke out against police brutality after he claimed he was assaulted by Las Vegas police officers and had a gun put to his head. Since the protest began, he has refused to stand for the anthem.
So Thursday night the Seattle Seahawks faced the Arizona Cardinals, and to the surprise of many, Michael Bennett stood for the anthem.
“It was to signify that we are all with the military, and that we love them,” Bennett told Tacoma News Tribune after the game. “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.
Bennett acknowledged that his decision would surprise some, but he expressed that he does indeed respect the military as he has family members who served.
“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.”
In the months leading up to Veterans Day, Bennett told reporters he would still sit during the anthem even if the NFL made a rule change that forced players to stand.
According to CBS Sports, Bennett was spotted smiling and shaking the hands of servicemen after the game last week.
Bennett is not done paying his respect to those who serve in the military either. Bennett told reporters after Thursday’s game that he will be standing for next weeks playing of the National Anthem, according to the LA Times.
Next week is the Seahawks Salute to Service. I am going to stand up for that game, too, to honor them,” he said.