Former Seattle Seahawks DE Michael Bennett announced his retirement from the NFL after 11 years in the NFL through his Instagram account, Bennett spent most of his playing career primarily with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Seahawks
Bennet was among the first NFL athletes to speak against Race and Social Justice as well as Police brutality. A group of players began protesting during the playing of the national anthem after a white nationalist rally Charlottesville, VA in 2017. While most players knelt or raised a fist during the playing of the anthem, Bennett drew attention because he chose to sit on the bunch.
For the three time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl XLVIII winner sports was just part of the man he was. The former Texas A&M product entered the league in 2009 as undrafted free agent by the Seahawks. After seeing no regular season game action Bennett moved on to Tampa Bay where he played four seasons. Bennet returned to Seattle and saw plenty of playing time the second time around. In his five seasons with Seattle ( 2013-2017) Bennett was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2015, 2016, and 2017.
In August 2017 Bennett was involved with an altercation with the Las Vegas Police Department. According to Bennett two officers handcuffed him and pointed a gun at him while they were investigation reports of gun fire. The Las Vegas Police Department denied the charges. For Bennett the incident was another example of excessive use of force by the Police.
Bennett was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles in 2018 . In 2019 his last in the NFL Bennett played for the Dallas Cowboys and New England Patriots. For Bennett the struggle for Race and Social Justice started during his collegiate days at Texas A & M.
“We had white coaches, and they wanted the Black players to be the embodiment of who they were. They would tell us to wear our pants and shoes a certain way; this is what it meant to ‘be a man, “ was quoted in the New York Times.
In 2018 Bennett released a book he co-wrote “ Things That Make White People Uncomfortable to express his views. The legacy Bennett left and is now commonplace is that athletes are human beings with family and real world fears.