Seahawks’ Michael Bennett explains why he stood up during the national anthem

Seattle Seahawks' Thomas Rawls (34), Sheldon Richardson (91), Nazair Jones (92), Branden Jackson (67), Jarran Reed (90) and Michael Bennett (72) link arms during the national anthem before their game against the Arizona Cardinals on Thursday.
(Christian Petersen / Getty Images)

It was an unusual scene for the Seattle Seahawks bench all season before kickoff against the Arizona Cardinals.

For the first time all season, defensive end Michael Bennett stood up for the national anthem. So did the rest of the Seahawks defensive lineman and the rest of the roster.

Bennett had been sitting during the national anthem since mid-August during the NFL preseason to protest social inequality and the need for police reform. He told the Tacoma News Tribune why he stood up for the first time this season.


“It was to signify that we are all with the military, and that we love them,” he said. “There’s been this narrative that we don’t care about the military. Today, we were honoring the military, so we wanted to be able to honor the military.

“I know a lot of people did not expect us to stand. They have this narrative about us that is not true. I have a lot of family that were military. It’s never been about the military. If there is an opportunity to support them and be grateful for what they do, and the sacrifices, we want to be able to do that.”

And this will not be the last time in which Bennett will stand during the anthem. The Seahawks will hold their Salute to Service game on Nov. 20 at home against the Atlanta Falcons.

“This is Veterans Day weekend. And next weekend is Salute to Service. I am going to stand up for that game, too, to honor them,” he said.

Bennett had sat down in every Seahawks preseason game and seven of the team’s first eight regular season games except at the Tennessee Titans in September, where every player stayed in the locker room during the anthem.

The Seahawks beat the Cardinals, 22-16.

Twitter: @edmgonzalez