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Michael Bennett Speaks about the national anthem

Michael Bennett: 'I can't stand for the national anthem'


Seattle Seahawks' Michael Bennett said on Tuesday that he will not stand for the national anthem during football games.

Bennett intentionally sat down on Sunday, as the national anthem was played before a preseason game against the Los Angeles Chargers in Carson, California.

"I can't stand for the national anthem," Bennett told CNN. "I can't stand right now. I'm not going to be standing until I see the equality and freedom."

He later said that what happened in Charlottesville "had a lot to do with" what he did.

"I grew up around that, listening and remembering those things, and thinking about Charlottesville brought back those memories," Bennett said. "It actually brought tears to my eyes to see people fighting and having to hate for somebody because of their color. I couldn't believe it took (President Donald Trump) 48 hours to respond. I thought he would have responded within seconds. And when he came on, I thought he should have handled it just as fast as when he's tweeting about Russia or something."

Bennett said that he wants people to join him "and fight for what's right."

"At this point, I think if you're being silent, you're being dishonest," Bennett told CNN. "And we can be silenced no more because we're living in this reality where I can't hide behind the logo on my helmet. I can't hide behind the shield. I can't hide behind the glamour and glitz of the NFL."

Bennett is the latest football player to not stand for the national anthem.

Just last year, Colin Kaepernick, a former San Francisco 49ers player, refused to stand for the national anthem and started to kneel.

Kaepernick said that he didn't want to "show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color."

Bennett called Kaepernick "one of the best fighters in sports history."

"I think people thought that it would go away because he was out of the NFL, but it's still going on," he said. "And there's still a fight going on. There's still racism going on. There's still social inequality going on. Just because he's out of it doesn't mean the fight is not gone."

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