Black Lives Matter activist and former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick gained national attention last year when he repeatedly protested America’s national anthem by refusing to stand for it at football games. He got a number of other football players to follow his lead, then found his career going the wrong way.
Now Seattle Seahawks star Michael Bennett is taking a similar stand — or rather sit — and protesting the national anthem because of what happened in Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday. He spoke with CNN’s Jake Tapper to explain why.
“Like I said, I won’t stand [for the anthem] ’til I feel like everything is equal,” Bennett explained. “I won’t stand ‘til everybody has justice. I won’t stand ‘til everybody has freedom on the things that America is built on.”
“I think protesting the national anthem begins the conversation about the truth of America,” he continued. “I’m not protesting the flag. I’m actually trying to honor what we’re supposed to be honoring: the freedom of America, the equality of America, the justice for all the the liberty. Those are the things that I’m trying to remind people that we all fought for — the forefathers.”
Bennett added, “We say we will fight against terrorists, domestic and foreign, and right now there’s a whole bunch of domestic terrorism, domestic hate going on between your race, your gender — all this stuff going on because of somebody’s skin and color. So I want to bring up those issues and create those conversations and get people off their butt and go out and try to act and fix the problem and go out and work with people of different race[s], different colors, different sex[es], different genders — whatever it is. Just go out and try to find out how to help instead of being a problem and sitting back and being silent.”
He then gave a mass condemnation, saying, “At this point, if you’re silent right now, you’re being dishonest about the truth about what’s going on, and we want to figure out how to get to the bottom of this. And I believe that the protesting is the right thing to do for me and for what I feel is right.”
What the full 2-minute interview below:
What do you think of this? On another show, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was asked if the Washington Monument should be torn down because President Washington was a slave owner.