Seahawks’ Michael Bennett says presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is his pick

Dec 24, 2015, 1:28 AM | Updated: 1:37 am
Michael Bennett doesn’t have the same reservations as many athletes about publicly discussing...
Michael Bennett doesn't have the same reservations as many athletes about publicly discussing politics. (AP)
(AP)

RENTON – Seahawks defensive lineman Michael Bennett has never shied away from sharing his opinion about, well, anything.

Opposing quarterbacks, his own quarterback, Jimmy Graham – the list goes on.

Bennett was his typically candid self on Wednesday while discussing a much weightier subject: politics. More specifically, his support of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. Bennett spoke in front of cameras and a group of reporters while wearing a hat with a matching pin that read “Bernie 2016.”

“I’m voting for Bernie Sanders next year,” he said when teammate Brandon Mebane walked by and asked about his hat. “If he’s a candidate, he’s my pick, my choice. I’m wearing the hat that I got from him.”

The Seahawks made Bennett available to the media outside the locker room and in front of a team backdrop (a setting more conducive to being filmed), ostensibly so that he could talk about how he had been named to the Pro Bowl for the first time in his seven-year career. But there was just as much talk about politics as there was about football.

Why is Sanders his choice?

“I just like a lot of the things that he talks about – social injustice, the things about climate control. There’s just a lot of different things that he does,” Bennett said. “I just think he’s an honest guy and he’s one of the main people that I think really has a platform to really tell the truth to the people and I think that’s what people need to hear is the honest truth, not so much hate from like Donald Trump and people like that, not so much about war, just about improving the people and improving the economy and just living good.”

Just as noteworthy as Bennett’s pick for president and his reasoning for it is that he shared them publicly whereas so many others in his position tend not to. Many athletes steer clear of politics or sensitive social issues, often out an unwillingness to subject themselves to disagreement from the other side.

Bennett had no such qualms. He was more than just willing to talk about his presidential preference. That he wore his Sanders hat indicated that he invited the discussion.

Bennett noted that “if you say something you have the ability to people to be judged by a lot of people just by a click of a button with Twitter, Instagram, Facebook. But for me, that doesn’t really matter, it’s just my opinion, who I like. Some people like red, some people like blue, I just happened to like Bernie Sanders.”

Bennett said politics are a common topic of conversation in the locker room, especially between he, Mebane, Cliff Avril and Richard Sherman.

“We never see eye to eye,” he said.

Bennett was asked if politics might be in his post-football future.

“I don’t got time for it,” he said. “Too many daughters.”

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