At this point, there have been a number of black NFL players who have made symbolic gestures during the playing of the national anthem before games in an effort to protest police shootings and other social injustices. From Colin Kaepernick and his 49ers teammate Eric Reid taking a knee during The Star-Spangled Banner to players like Martellus Bennett and Marcus Peters raising their fists during the anthem, it has turned into a movement. But in order for it to continue to be effective, Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett believes that at least one white player is going to have to join the protest to drive the point that’s being made home.
"You need a white guy to join the fight," Bennett told the Seattle Times on Thursday. "The white guy is super important to the fight. For people to really see social injustices, there must be someone from the other side of the race who recognizes the problem, because a lot of times if just one race says there’s a problem, nobody is realistic about it."
Bennett’s teammate Cliff Avril suggested one white player who could help the cause greatly. "If somebody like, say, Aaron Rodgers got behind us, I think it would touch home for a lot more people," Avril said, before admitting that it’s unlikely Rodgers would join the protests. "At the same time, I see why they probably wouldn’t, because they don’t know what we’re going through. That’s one of those situation where it’s unfortunate."
As a unit, the Seahawks have been one of the most outspoken teams in the NFL when it's come to addressing the police shootings. Richard Sherman and Doug Baldwin both dedicated their entire press conferences to talking about them this week, and earlier this month, the team put together a "pregame demonstration of unity." But they clearly want to continue to push this movement forward in whatever way possible.