Michael Bennett's protest against racial injustice by sitting during the national anthem continued on Sunday night before the Seahawks' Week 4 game against the Colts. This time, he was joined by eight of his teammates.
Below, you can see Bennett sitting on the bench during the national anthem alongside his teammates.
Whole group of Seahawks stay seated for anthem. With Oboushi and Bennett standing with a hand on their pads pic.twitter.com/WxbkotV2yv— Stefanie Loh (@StefanieLoh) October 2, 2017
Wilhoite, Smith, Jones, Smith II, Richardson, Reed, Clark, Avril, Bennett sat for anthem. Aboushi and Britt stood with hand on their pads. https://t.co/c8rn9mJV20— Stefanie Loh (@StefanieLoh) October 2, 2017
Meanwhile, every player on the Colts stood during the anthem.
No Colts kneeling. None.— Gregg Doyel (@GreggDoyelStar) October 2, 2017
Here's a closer look at both sidelines:
Bennett, a long-time supporter of Colin Kaepernick, who began the protest a year ago, has taken a seat during the anthem for the entire season -- beginning in the preseason. So, his decision to continue sitting probably wasn't just about the inflammatory comments made by Donald Trump on Sept. 22, when Trump said that players who don't stand for the anthem should be fired by teams.
"Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, 'Get that son of a b---- off the field right now," Trump said. "Out. He's fired. He's fired."
"You know, some owner is going to do that, he's going to say, 'That guy that disrespects our flag, he's fired,'" he continued. "And that owner, they don't know it -- they're friends of mine, many of them -- they don't know it, they'll be the most popular person for a week, they'll be the most popular person in this country, because that's a total disrespect of our heritage, that's a total disrespect of everything that we stand for."
Ever since Trump's comments, the widespread demonstrations during the anthem have grown and morphed into a display of unity. But Bennett's protest -- like Kaepernick's -- wasn't about NFL unity. It was about racial injustice, as our Jason La Canfora detailed in August.
"Going over everything in my mind," Bennett told La Canfora, "and thinking about the people I work with every day like Richard Sherman, Cliff Avril, Pete Carroll, John Schneider, all of those things rolled into my mind as I thought about, 'What should I do?' It was heavy on my heart wondering, 'How can I inspire the youth? How can I change the culture?' And this is what I want to do.
"My teammates have my back. I think if I was a guy who didn't live the life I'm talking about, who didn't live trying to change people's lives, who didn't work with different cultures, who doesn't go out and do all of this stuff … but these guys know this is what I've dedicated my life to, and this is my purpose."
Bennett added that his "purpose in life is to create change and give people an opportunity that they lack."