This time, the Seahawks came to Michael Bennett’s side – and front – to support his protest during the national anthem.
The Pro Bowl defensive end sat again on Seattle’s bench behind a line of teammates, coaches and staff during “The Star Spangled Banner,” this time Friday night before kickoff of the team’s second preseason game against the Minnesota Vikings. Bennett has vowed to sit all season, or at least until he sees “equality and freedom” for all minorities in our country.
But unlike last weekend before the preseason opener at the Los Angeles Chargers, Bennett was not alone.
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Noticeably, one of the Seahawks’ leading white players came to Bennett’s side. Center Justin Britt, a Pro Bowl alternate last season who signed a three-year, $27 million contract extension on Thursday, stood on Bennett’s left. Britt’s right arm was extended with his hand on the seated Bennett’s left shoulder.
And veteran defensive back Jeremy Lane stood a few feet in front of Bennett – with his back to the field and the giant flag being held by Puget Sound-area Navy personnel in uniform.
Last August, Lane sat on the Seahawks’ bench during the anthem just before a preseason game at Oakland.
The Seahawks met this week with coach Pete Carroll to discuss how to show support for Bennett.
Britt coming over was particularly significant; Bennett said this week NFL player protest for minorities in America would not truly gain momentum and possibly affect change unless white players get involved.
Gregg Bell: @gbellseattle