Michael Bennett is an NFL player that has been extremely outspoken on his ideas of the national anthem and how it can be divisive. However, the Dallas Cowboys are about as American as a team can be. They want Bennett on their team but they have a requirement that is being stipulated in the contract: stand for the national anthem.
The NFL team doesn’t want another crusader like Colin Kaepernick to create an embarrassment, and for good reason. So, they have given Bennett a choice to make. If he wants to play for the team, he has to agree to this stipulation.
There have been plenty of NFL players of color to follow suit after Kaepernick pulled his stunt during The Star-Spangled Banner in 2016. They wanted to protest minority oppression along with police brutality. They chose to take a knee during the national anthem despite living in a country that allows them to make millions of dollars playing a sport that they love.
Michael Bennett, defensive end, is one of the NFL players who decided to protest. Throughout various games, he sat on the sideline while his teammates at the Seattle Seahawks stood during the anthem.
Since 2016, Bennett has been bouncing around to the various NFL teams, being unable to find a home. Perhaps this is because he is not as patriotic as he should be. After joining the Philadelphia Eagles, Bennett spent most of the anthems in 2008 hiding in the locker room. He did the same when he was with the New England Patriots.
According to Jerry Jones, the owner of the Cowboys, things are about to change. Now that I go Bennett is playing for the Cowboys, they needed to make sure that an understanding was reached regarding his behavior.
After acquiring the 33-year-old defensive end in a trade with New England earlier this month, part of the deal would be that he had to stand on the sidelines before each game while the anthem played.
During a morning interview, Jerry Jones discussed Bennett as well as the controversy regarding the national anthem. Jones said that he is satisfied that Michael understands “how we do it here with the Cowboys.”
Jason Garrett, head coach for the Dallas Cowboys, also identifies that the team is excited to have Bennett as a player. They anticipate him doing “what all of our players do.”
The Patriots were happy to trade Bennett after an argument with the coaches that resulted in Bennett being suspended. Reportedly, Bennett was frustrated that he wasn’t getting the playing time even though he has high-level skills.
Bennett hasn’t proven himself to be a team player, however. He’s allowing history to repeat itself, only this time it’s him instead of Kaepernick. The Seahawks player couldn’t find a team to play with after his national anthem stunt. Bennett may be a good football player but he hasn’t been showing his team the support they need or the patriotism for a country that allows him to be paid very well for his talents.
Michael Bennett has also proven to be difficult to work with and a number of other ways. In 2018, he was dealt felony charges after allegedly knocking over a 66-year-old female security guard who was paraplegic. In 2008, he also released a book that went into sociopolitical stances, titling the book “Things That Make White People Uncomfortable.” He has also accused the Las Vegas police of racial profiling and made all sorts of demands to the NFL through a memo that was penned by him and a handful of other players.
“Difficult” may be a lax way to describe how Michael Bennett is on an NFL team. However, he has his beliefs and the Cowboys are willing to allow him to have those. However, if Bennett wanted to continue his NFL career, he would need to show some respect to the country. For the Cowboys, the process was simple: You stand for the national anthem along the sidelines with the rest of your team.
Luckily for the Cowboys, Bennett, and the NFL, the defensive end was ready to agree to those terms. The Dallas team now has a great player on their roster, Bennett gets to play the game that he loves, and fans get to watch the team on the field without wondering if there’s going to be some kind of publicity stunt when everyone is standing in unity to listen to the Star-Spangled Banner play – because that’s what we do as Americans in the US at an NFL football game.