Over the weekend, Seahawks defensive lineman Michael Bennett challenged other NFL players -- including Panthers quarterback Cam Newton -- to speak out on social issues.
"In the NBA, everybody is standing up for it, so the greatest players are in the forefront of the movement," Bennett said Saturday. "Here in the NFL, the greatest players aren't in the forefront of the movement. Whether it's the CBA, whether it's things going on with trying to change the way -- concussions. The greatest players aren't involved like LeBron James, Chris Paul and all these guys [in the NBA]. Our great players are sitting back just taking the dollars, whether it's Cam Newton, all these guys. They're not really on the forefront of trying to change what's going on."
By Monday, Bennett confirmed that he reached out to Newton to clarify his original comments.
"I just said that I'm not trying to make a division within the community of NFL players," Bennett said during an appearance on SportsCenter. "I'm just trying to bring unity, basically. Sometimes you read things, and it comes out like I'm saying that that's the main person. But I'm just saying that we need to work together to come together with what's going on and figure a way, how can we be better? How can we be better influencers?
"Just want to work well with all the players together," he continued. "It takes a village to do something like this. It's not going to be one player. It's going to be a group of players. I just want to emphasize that to a lot of the players."
Heading into training camp, Bennett was looking for a new deal, even going so far as to say the Seahawks should send him on his way if they don't think he's earned a raise.
"It is never-ending," he told The Huffington Post at the time. "Especially when people are getting new contracts every day. You sit there and you're like, 'Damn, really?' I'm just to the point where it's kind of like, if you don't think I'm valuable, then just get rid of me."
By Saturday, Bennett had softened his stance, saying only that he wants to win another Lombardi Trophy in Seattle, and any contract questions should be directed to his agent.
The 30-year-old had a career-high 10 sacks last season.