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Before Seattle Seahawks defensive lineman Michael Bennett continued his protest of sitting during the national anthem inside CenturyLink Field Sunday, dozens of supporters rallied outside before the Seahawks-49ers game. They showed support for him and for former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
Bennett started sitting for the anthem back in the preseason to protest injustice in America. On Sunday, teammates Justin Britt and Thomas Rawls stood beside him and placed a hand on Bennett’s shoulder.
As Pearl Jam's Mike McCready jams anthem, Michael Bennett sits again. Cliff Avril, Frank Clark sit with him at end. Britt, Rawls stand next pic.twitter.com/kE0EpmoJbN— Gregg Bell (@gbellseattle) September 17, 2017
The protest emulates one started by Kaepernick last season when he first sat and later kneeled for the anthem. Kaepernick is now a free agent, and some have suggested teams are purposely not signing him, in part, because of his protests.
At a rally held a couple of hours before Sunday's game, Bennett’s younger brother, Rashaud, was one of the speakers.
“When the thing happened in Vegas, he called me the day after,” said Rashaud, referring to a disputed incident last month in which Bennett claims he was racially profiled by Las Vegas police. “It kind of hit home for me because there’s so many families out here going through the same thing. The very thing he’s out her fighting for happens to him.”
The rally was organized by the Seattle-area NAACP and the Social Equality Educators.