GLENDALE, Ariz. – Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett has pledged to remain seated for the national anthem before every game this year, and a number of his teammates have joined him.
However, on Thursday night, as the anthem was played at University of Phoenix Stadium before kickoff against the Cardinals, the Seahawks all stood for the anthem – including Bennett.
Bennett, several of his defensive linemates, Oday Aboushi, Justin Britt and running back Thomas Rawls all stood in a row with their arms linked during the anthem.
This is likely because the Seahawks and Cardinals are honoring veterans and active military with this Salute to Service game.
Bennett, the son of a Navy veteran, has emphasized that he respects the military and that his decision to sit for the anthem is to advocate for the rights of minorities.
Bennett started sitting for the anthem in the first game of the year, and by the Colts game in October, the defensive line had decided to sit with him in a show of solidarity.
There have, however, been exceptions to Bennett’s demonstrations this season. After President Donald Trump ranted at the end of September asking NFL owner to “fire” any players who would not stand for the anthem, the entire team stayed in the locker room for the game against the Titans.
On Oct. 8, before their game against the Los Angeles Rams, the entire team once again stood for the anthem. Frank Clark later explained that it was a show of respect for the victims of the Las Vegas shooting that had occurred the previous week. A moment of silence for the victims was observed before the game.