Is Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett writing himself a one-way ticket out of New England?
When the Patriots go to the White House as congratulations for winning the Super Bowl, Bennett won’t be joining his teammates. Blowing off the White House probably won’t sit well with New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and coach Bill Belichick, both good friends of Trump.
And further hurting Bennett’s chances of returning to New England in 2017 — he just backed out of an upcoming goodwill trip of NFL players to Israel, according to the Times of Israel.
Bennett cancelled the Israel trip after reading an open letter signed by singer Harry Belafonte, activist Angela Davis, actor Danny Glover, and others imploring the athletes “to consider the political ramifications of attending the trip, drawing connections between the struggles faced by Black and Brown communities in the U.S., and Palestinian, Eritrean and Sudanese communities in Israel/Palestine.”
Bennett joins his brother Michael, Miami Dolphins receiver Kenny Stills (a national anthem kneeler), and Denver Broncos running back Justin Forsett in backing out.
Kraft, a strong supporter of the Jewish State, donated $6 million for the development of the Kraft Family Sports Campus, a Jerusalem sports facility, last November. The complex is scheduled to open this summer in time for the Maccabiah Games.
“The Kraft Family Sports Campus allows me to invest in two things that I have always been very passionate about: My love of Israel and my support for youth athletics and team sports, especially American football,” Kraft said about making the donation. “I fell in love with Israel on my first visit in 1963 and have been investing in its future ever since. I have seen the positive impact team sports can have, not just on the individuals who participate, but in the communities that support them. They help unify those who might otherwise be divided by cultural differences.”
While brother Michael articulated his reasons for skipping the trip on social media, Martellus Bennett remains largely mum aside from retweeting his sibling’s message. He offered a blunt explanation for ditching the White House event but refused to elaborate further.
“Because I don’t support the person in it,” Bennett said. Why doesn’t he support President Trump?
“I can elaborate later in life,” Bennett said after the Super Bowl when asked why he’s not going.
So Martellus Bennett disrespected Kraft on two fronts – Trump and Israel.
Martellus Bennett’s contract just expired. There is a good chance his next contract is outside of New England.
Don’t think for a second the owner (or the coach) will forget when they’re making free agency decisions in March. But a much more relevant concern might involve Bennett’s Rod Tidwell imitation after winning the Super Bowl.
“I’m going into free agency as a Super Bowl champion,” he noted on the NFL Network. “You know they overpay Super Bowl champions.”
They? Surely that plural pronoun excludes the New England Patriots.