Michael Bennett, the Seattle Seahawks defensive end, has received an apology from a Seattle Times writer who referred to him as being immature.
Over the weekend, Matt Calkins of the Seattle Timespublished an entire article about Bennett, and although he praised him for being outspoken, funny, and passionate, Calkins also took aim at Bennett’s lack of maturity. One of the reasons Matt referred to Michael as being immature was over his scuffle with Bill Wixey of Q13 after the Seahawks lost to the Falcons in January during the playoffs.
“He [Bennett] called him [Wixey] a ‘non-playing (expletive)’ and asked what kind of adversity he’d been through, implying that there was no way it could be on par with an NFL player,” Calkins wrote in the article. “Well, that reporter survived cancer, which Bennett obviously didn’t know. But the fact that he never publicly apologized or even acknowledged it reeks of immaturity.”
Matt continued his article by referring to the sexual jokes Michael makes during his interviews, his constant need to demean the media, and his “war of words” with Stephen A. Smith of ESPN.
“His aspirations are incredibly noble. But sometimes his behavior is incredibly childish,” Calkins continued. “Bennett has to make a choice on who he really wants to be. He clearly knows the power of his platform, but I’m not sure he is taking full advantage of it.”
After reading the article, Michael Bennett threatened to boycott the Seattle Times and reached out to the newspaper to voice his outrage over the false information that was published by their columnist. He also encouraged his fellow teammates to refrain from talking to the newspaper and to boycott their interviews. Matt stated in his initial article that Michael never apologized for the post-game incident in January. In fact, Michael reached out to the reporter in private and sincerely apologized for his outburst. Later, Q13’s news director confirmed the apology and said the pair “left the conversation in a good place.”
— Deadspin (@Deadspin) May 22, 2017
On Monday, Matt Calkins issued an apology to the football star and wrote an entirely new article titled “I didn’t get it right with Seahawks’ Michael Bennett, and I apologize.”
“Bennett’s profanity-laced tirade wasn’t the only example I used when questioning his conduct, but it was my primary argument. Any time he promoted a charity or spoke out on an issue, I’d think, ‘Great, but you can’t tell one guy you’re sorry?'” Matt wrote. “Except he did say sorry. He just didn’t do it publicly.”
“Sure, there is still a part of me that wonders why Bennett kept it private. If he is serious about being a role model, I feel like it would have been in his best interest to show his contrition to the world. But it’s also possible that Wixey, who couldn’t be reached for comment, asked Bennett to keep the apology between them so the story would die. I just don’t know.”
Calkins continued by admitting he should have done more research before publishing the article and reached out to Wixey himself to find out the truth. The fact that he didn’t do so, Matt said, was “just plain lazy.”
“I apologize, first and foremost, to Michael Bennett, who read the column after hosting a pair of charity events this weekend,” Matt continued. “As I said throughout my story, and later in a tweet, I have great respect for the defensive end who is trying to make a difference.”
— The Seattle Times (@seattletimes) May 21, 2017
“I also apologize to the readers. Credibility is everything in my profession, and I just undermined my own,” he added. “It’s one thing to post a wrong score or misspell a name. It’s another to build a premise around false information.”
[Featured Image by NFL Photos/Getty Images]