BROCK AND SALK

Seahawks’ Michael Bennett doesn’t want to be told to ‘stick to football’

Jul 16, 2016, 2:46 PM | Updated: 6:35 pm
Seahawks DE Michael Bennett explained the importance of athletes following when they take stances. ...
Seahawks DE Michael Bennett explained the importance of athletes following when they take stances. (AP)
(AP)
LISTEN: Seahawks' Michael Bennett on athletes taking political stances

Michael Bennett is nearly as well known for his humorous nature as he is for being one of the best defensive linemen in the NFL. But he’s got a serious side to him, as well.

The outspoken Seahawks defensive end joined Brock Huard and guest co-host Gee Scott on 710 ESPN Seattle Friday, and when the subject turned to athletes making political statements, Bennett didn’t shy away.

Bennett has been active on social media in recent weeks following the deaths of Alton Sterling in Louisiana and Philando Castile in Minnesota by police officers, which prompted protests by Black Lives Matter groups around America. Scott noted to Bennett that his posts had received plenty of comments telling him to “stick to football” then asked what message that sends to him.

“When people tell me to stick to football and don’t speak on things that are going on, they’re basically telling me … don’t be black. That’s not your problem. You’re not a part of that black community, you’re a part of the other black community – the NBA black community, the NFL black community. You know, the get-to-have-it-all black community. So forget about the other black community,” Bennett said.

Bennett hasn’t been the only star athlete to speak up lately, with NBA players Carmelo Anthony and Dwayne Wade being among the more notable. But he warned that by adding their voice to the cause, there’s a greater responsibility they need to own up to, and that it’s all too common for sports figures to fall short in that aspect.

“I’ve been saying that for years, (that athletes need to be) speaking up on things and doing things like that. You know, those guys have a way bigger voice, but they tend to forget, too, when you say things like that, that means you can’t do the McDonald’s commercial anymore. You can’t do Pepsi. That means you start losing money,” said Bennett, who is a vocal advocate for teaching kids the value of proper nutrition. “Once you start saying stuff like that, you truly gotta follow through on that. … Not only doing social events and having things that go on socially with gun violence, police. It’s also dealing with everything. When you show a kid that you eat McDonald’s before a game, that’s a sense of vulnerability for the kid because they tend to believe that. So it’s a whole ‘nother level that we’re stepping up too.”

You can hear the full interview with Bennett at this link.

Brock and Salk podcast

Brock and Salk

Mariners Raleigh Bichette...
Brent Stecker

ESPN’s Passan: Key for Mariners to beat Blue Jays in playoff series

The Blue Jays have the advantage over the Mariners in their wild card series this weekend, but ESPN's Jeff Passan says there's a way for Seattle to win.
19 hours ago
Mariners Julio Rodríguez...
Mike Salk

Salk: What separates playoff-bound Mariners from M’s teams that fell short

How did these Mariners get it right when their previous 20 teams all came short of the playoffs? Mike Salk breaks it down.
2 days ago
Seahawks Geno Smith...
Brandon Gustafson

Carroll: How Geno, Waldron had Seahawks’ offense ‘ripping’ vs Lions

After the Seahawks' 48-45 win over the Lions, Pete Carroll hit the Seattle Sports airwaves to discuss his offense, especially Geno Smith.
3 days ago
Seahawks Jamal Adams...
Brent Stecker

How missing Jamal Adams has thrown Seahawks’ defense for a loop

Brock Huard explains why something that K.J. Wright pointed out about the impact of Jamal Adams missing from the Seahawks' defense jumps out.
6 days ago
Mariners Mitch Haniger...
Brent Stecker

Mariners’ Mitch Haniger has a lot riding on the rest of the season

Mitch Haniger slumped in September, complicating what the Mariners should do with him set to be a free agent this offseason.
6 days ago
Mariners Jarred Kelenic...
Brandon Gustafson

Is Mariners’ Jarred Kelenic back for good? 3 MLB insiders weigh in

Jarred Kelenic has produced in his short time back with the Mariners from Triple-A. We look at what MLB insiders Mike Blowers, Jeff Passan and Jon Morosi have to say about him.
7 days ago
Seahawks’ Michael Bennett doesn’t want to be told to ‘stick to football’