Michael Bennett explains decision to sit during national anthem

02 OCT 2016: Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett (72) during the game between the New York Jets and the Seattle Seahawks played at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford,NJ. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire)
Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire

Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett chose to sit for the national anthem before Sunday night’s preseason opening game against the Los Angeles Chargers. His decision comes just a day after former teammate Marshawn Lynch chose to sit during the anthem prior to the Oakland Raiders’ preseason contest.

After the game, Bennett had this to stay concerning his decision to remain seated during the anthem:

“I want to be able to use this platform to continuously push the message of that, and keep journeying out, and keep finding out how unselfish we can be as a society. How can we continuously love one another and understand that people are different? And just because they’re different doesn’t mean you shouldn’t like them. 

“I just want people to understand that no matter what, we’re in this thing together. It’s more about being a human being at this point.”

Last season, former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick drew a heavy dose of criticism for his decision to first remain seated, and then to kneel, during the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Kaepernick remains a free agent.

After Lynch sat on Saturday night, Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio dismissed the issue, disputing that it was a distraction. During the anthem for the Seahawks game, the rest of the team stood with their arms linked, a similar move to the one they made last season in response to Kaepernick’s decision to take a knee.

Bennett has said that he intends to sit during the anthem for the entirety of the season.

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