The NFL would like their player’s protests to stay on a back burner and for the focus to be on the action that’s on the field of play. But it looks like NFL players aren’t just protesting on the sidelines, they have taken their stand onto the field as well.
In the past, football players may have taken a knee or sat on the bench during the singing of the National Anthem. But now Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett celebrated a sack in the midst of the game with a single fist raise in the air.
Bennett was the first Seattle player who was announced during the pregame festivities at the home opener against the 49ers. The crowd gave him a loud ovation. Then the NFL player took his usual seat on the bench while the crowd stood for the National Anthem. Bennet claims that he was subjected to racial profiling and excessive force by Las Vegas Police who detained him last month. Those who support Bennett gathered in protest outside of the Stadium.
While Bennet sat on the bench while the anthem was being played, Seattle center Justin Britt and running back Thomas Rawls stood next to Bennett, each with a hand on his shoulder. As the song ended, teammates Cliff Avril and Frank Clark also sat with Bennett.
Colin Kaepernick, who is presently out of an NFL job, is credited with starting the protest movement during the National Anthem. Many believe his actions cost him his job. Bennett’s raised fist, however, is the first instance of a player seeming to protest during a game.
The NFL is fighting ratings that are in decline, as well as significant criticism about the anthem protests. They will certainly not be happy about a visible protest during the game on the field of play.
On Sunday night the NFL took another hit after the Green Bay Packers vs. Atlanta Falcons took another dip audience was down from the first game of the season.
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Credit: NY Post