Letters to the Editor

Anthem: Bennett rightly makes us squirm a little

Re: “Don’t want to stand for anthem? Then walk away from football,” (TNT, 8/15).

Former Steelers running back DeAngelo Williams dyed his hair pink to help raise awareness for breast cancer. Giants wide receiver Brandon Marshall wore green cleats to promote mental health advocacy.

Most of us can agree that those are acceptable issues to raise from an NFL platform.

But Seahawks defensive lineman Michael Bennett sitting during the national anthem to protest racism? That makes us squirm a little. That’s tougher.

Not because we don’t know whether we are against racism or not, but because talking about racism, especially as white people, makes us feel guilty and uncomfortable.

It makes us think about the ways in which we are complicit in continuing the racism institutionalized in our country. And we don’t like feeling guilty and uncomfortable. No one does.

So what do we do when we are made to feel that way? We either use those feelings as a learning opportunity and a conversation starter, or we tell the person making us feel that way to be quiet and leave.

News Tribune sports columnist John McGrath chose to do the latter.

Kirsten E. Abel, Seattle