Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett believes that a white person needs to join the anthem protests to further the cause against social injustice.
“You need a white guy to join the fight,” Bennett told The Seattle Times. “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.”
The protests, first initiated by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, have been carried out by numerous players across the NFL, but the individual protesters have been black.
New England Patriots defensive end Chris Long, who is white, offered his support of Kaepernick’s decision to kneel during the national anthem on ESPN Radio’s “Russillo and Kanell.”
“I support my peers in exercising their right to protest,” Long said. “This is a wonderful country, and I think everyone agrees on that, but there are things in our country that can improve. I don’t think that by acknowledging as a white male that America isn’t the same for me, maybe, as it is for everybody, the same great place, that we’re complicit in the problem or that we’re saying America isn’t a great place.”
Additionally, Megan Rapinoe, who is also white, has taken a knee during the national anthem for her National Womens Soccer League club, the Seattle Reign, and for Team USA in international play.