A number of athletes, entertainers and activists – including former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick – are looking to do a solid for Michael Bennett.
The former 49ers quarterback joins more than 30 people who signed a statement of solidarity with the Seattle Seahawks defensive end, according to a report released by The Nation, a longtime liberal magazine.
Bennett says he was restrained and held at gunpoint in Las Vegas on Aug. 27 by officers who were looking for a shooting suspect. He believes his race is why he was held, a claim denied by Las Vegas police.
“We condemn this act of racial profiling and excessive force perpetrated by the Vegas police against Mr. Bennett,” a segment of the statement reads. “Michael Bennett has been sitting during the anthem precisely to raise these issues of racist injustice that are now an intimate part of his life. Now we stand with him.”
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He has been one of the most notable protesters of the national anthem in the NFL – an act started by Kaepernick last season. It’s widely believed Kaepernick’s protests are why he’s not on an NFL roster despite being only 29 years old and having a 4-to-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio for the 49ers last season.
Some of the notable names to sign the statement include:
▪ Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, a nine-year NBA veteran who spent two seasons with the Kings.
▪ John Carlos, a former U.S. Olympian in track and field who famously raised his fist during the medal ceremony at the 1968 Mexico City games.
▪ Macklemore, a Grammy-winning rapper from Seattle.
▪ Eric Reid, a 49ers safety who joined Kaepernick in his anthem protests last NFL season.
▪ Cornel West, a longtime philosopher and social activist who graduated from Sacramento’s Kennedy High School.