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NFL’s Michael Bennett Won’t Relax His Stand on National Anthem Despite His New Patriotic Employer

Michael Bennett, one of the NFL’s most outspoken social activists since Colin Kaepernick played, still refuses to stand for the national anthem even though he now plays for the New England Patriots, whose owner Robert Kraft and quarterback Tom Brady are known to have a close relationship with Donald Trump.

Trump has been extremely vocal about his issue with players protesting the anthem, and he’s called for their firing on more than one occasion. And Kaepernick, who began kneeling for the anthem in 2016, has seemingly been blackballed by the NFL for his protests, which many say Trump had something to do with.

Michael Bennett says he’ll stay in the locker room for the national anthem next season despite now playing for the New England Patriots. (Photo: @mosesbread72 Instagram)

Bennett spoke on Monday at Princeton University about his new team as well as how he’ll approach the national anthem, and he revealed that he’ll stay in the locker room during the traditional pregame performances of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

“I explained to them that my integrity means everything,” said Bennett, who wrote the 2018 book “Things That Make White People Uncomfortable.”  “I think they respect that about me, they respect who I am as an individual.”

The 33-year-old also said that he plans to talk to Kraft and Brady about why they’re Trump supporters in the first place, and if he didn’t it would be a missed opportunity.

“I think it’s important not to run away from those conversations or not hear their ideas about why they think the way they do,” Bennett explained. “I think it’s an opportunity for growth to have those conversations. If we don’t allow ourselves to have those conversations, we’re stunting our growth. Those conversations will present themselves. I think it’s going to be really unique.”

Besides protesting the anthem before games and talking about racial equality in interviews, Bennett also joined a group of his fellow NFL players in 2017 and created a 10-page memo sent to the league’s commissioner, Roger Goodell.

In the write-up, players asked the NFL to support their efforts in fighting racism and help with criminal justice reform. They also wanted to make November the league’s official activism awareness month.

Bennett, one of the league’s top defensive ends, was traded to the Patriots from the Philadelphia Eagles earlier this month, a year after he helped Philadelphia win a Super Bowl in 2018.

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