At a press conference earlier this week, Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett, wearing a hoodie with the word “equality” on the front, said that National Football League owners need to give Collin Kaepernick a chance to resume his career before players can reach any agreement with the league about standing or sitting during the national anthem.
He also claimed that Dallas Cowboys president Jerry Jones’ decision that all players must stand for the national anthem reminded him of the Dred Scott case, implying that the NFL owner views players merely as property. Bennett also revealed that he plans to continue to kneel during the Star-Spangled Banner. See video below.
Michael Bennett’s comments didn’t sit well, as it were, with Fox Sports 1 analyst Jason Whitlock and Fox Sports Radio host Clay Travis, with the word “fraud” coming up as part of the thread.
In a very politicized 1857 case with a complicated procedural history, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Dred Scott lacked standing (i.e., had no legal recourse in court) to sue for his freedom because slaves weren’t American citizens. Many scholars believe that this is the high court’s worst-ever decision.
The take-a-knee protest started last year by the ex-San Francisco 49ers quarterback has consumed a significant amount of media bandwidth, although it was dying out prior to President Trump’s riff at the Alabama political rally, which seemed to jump-start the demonstrations. Kaepernick has now filed a grievance against the NFL for alleged collusion over his unsigned status.
Recall also that on September 6, Michael Bennett tweeted out a long, headline-making message claiming that he was racially profiled and subjected to excessive force for “simply being a black man in the wrong place at the wrong time” in an incident in Las Vegas. Bennett was in Vegas on August 26 for the Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor boxing match when he was detained for about 10 minutes by cops who were responding to an active shooter call at the Cromwell Las Vegas Hotel & Casino in the early hours of the next morning. Cops allege that Bennett was hiding near a slot machine when they entered the casino, started running from them, and jumped over a wall in an attempt to evade them.
In Las Vegas PD footage that was subsequently released, officers on the scene calmly explained to Bennett that they stopped him because he was running from the scene, and let him go after agreeing to verify on Google that he was a Seahawks player (for some reason, Bennett had no ID on him at the time).
According to TMZ, of the three officers involved in the brief Michael Bennett detention outside the casino, two are Hispanic and one is black.
On an episode of Speak for Yourself, FS1 host Jason Whitlock, a longtime Kaepernick critic, insisted that hiring Kap is no solution to the anthem controversy and could even make the situation worse, especially as the league continues to lose market share. He also called out Michael Bennett over his Vegas allegations.
“Michael Bennett and a lot of these players clearly aren’t businessmen and aren’t thinking like businessmen. Look, the numbers are in. The ratings are down for this league. The players get 48 percent of the revenue generated; they’re making a bad business decision. To see Michael Bennett stand up there with this ‘equality’ T-shirt when he lied about the Las Vegas situation, and the police came out and basically proved that he lied. He comes off as fraudulent to me. The whole ‘equality’ – it’s a gesture; it’s a slogan. I don’t see any substance to what he’s talking about…This is about Colin Kaepernick and his job status. He lost his starting quarterback job and he pouted and sat for the national anthem. It’s always been about this; there’s no substance to what they’re talking about…Colin Kaepernick has made $43 million from the NFL, and now we’re throwing a tantrum about some black elite that made $43 million and pretending like ‘we’re really speaking for poor blacks and the voiceless.’ It’s a joke; it’s fraudulent.”
Whitock added that advocating for racial equality without specifics is too vague to enable people to find common ground.
Watch the clip below for Jason Whitlock’s entire remarks, along with those of the other panelists.
— Speak For Yourself (@SFY) October 19, 2017
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Seattle Seahawks’ Michael Bennett Should Apologize For Racism Charge Against Las Vegas PD, Clay Travis Claims
Again accusing Michael Bennett of being a “race-baiting fraud,” Fox Sports Radio host Clay Travis wrote on his Outkick the Coverage blog that Bennett’s $15 million annual salary to play 16 games and his lavish second home in Hawaii along with many other perks attendant to his status as an elite pro athlete in no way equates to the modern day equivalent of Dred Scott.
In the lengthy essay, Travis also chided the news media for publicizing Bennett’s racism accusations against the Las Vegas PD and then dropping the story when footage emerged that didn’t necessarily fit with the accepted narrative
“Michael Bennett’s not a slave, in fact he’s actually something much more powerful — the master of the liberal sports media. Because no matter how many lies Bennett tells or how many bad historical analogies he makes, the sports media’s there to do his bidding, covering up his lies as artfully as they possibly can, whitewashing the statements of an ignorant athlete and embossing it with the patina of legitimacy.”
Michael Bennett and the 3-2 Seattle Seahawks have a road game today vs. the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, with a 4:25 p.m. Eastern kickoff time.
[Featured Image by Christian Petersen/Getty Images]