GREEN BAY – Tight end Martellus Bennett said he supports his older brother Michael Bennett’s decision to protest by sitting through the national anthem, but the Green Bay Packers tight end has no plans to do the same.
Michael Bennett, a Pro Bowl defensive tackle, sat through the national anthem before the Seattle Seahawks' preseason opener against the San Diego Chargers to protest racial inequality. It’s a stand former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a year ago, which first gained national attention when he did it before the Packers' exhibition in San Francisco last August.
In the Packers' locker room Tuesday, Martellus Bennett said he’s proud of his brother’s bravery and community outreach.
“I support Michael in everything he does,” Bennett said. “He’s very well educated on what it is he wants to happen in the world, and what he’s trying to communicate, and I think he does an awesome job. I love him to death, and I think he’s very courageous in the position he’s in and the things that he says, and I’m proud to be his brother and see him make the impact that he does – not just with stances like that but the work that he does in the community, the type of father he is.
“If there’s anybody you can look up to, it’s Mike. I know sometimes he may come off a little abrasive, but man, the dude is such a great guy. He’s always working in the community, he’s always trying to better the young, and he’s a progressive thinker. I think it’s awesome.”
Bennett said he did not know his brother was going to protest during the national anthem before it happened. The two brothers are very close, but conversations are more rare during busy training camp schedules.
Like his older brother, Bennett doesn't shy away from being outspoken on racial issues. Asked if he thought about joining his brother’s national-anthem protest, Bennett said he prefers to protest in another way.
“I make my statements every day,” Bennett said. “I’m more of an in-the-moment-type guy. I don’t pre-plan anything like that. If it happens, it happens. I’ll never do anything out of malicious intent, but I support him. I support his movement. I support Colin Kaepernick, I support all the guys – Angela Davis – all the people that came before us to pave the way for what we’re trying to do in the black community.
“I support everybody and always will. I always will be very pro black, I guess would be the term to say.”