Detroit Lions’ Zenner Not Offended When Called ‘Best White Running Back’ in the NFL

Defensive end Michael Bennett of the Seattle Seahawks celebrates on December 24, 2016 in Seattle, Washington
Detroit, MI

Detroit Lions running back Zach Zenner does not take any offense after Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett labeled him the “best white running back” in the NFL.

Bennett made the eyebrow-raising comment during a conference call with Detroit sports reporters in which he praised Zenner as an amazing talent, but he also commented on Zenner’s race.

“I think the running back, man, he’s — there’s not many white running backs in the NFL but he has to be the best right now,” Bennett told the Detroit Free Press. “He’s doing such a great job of cutbacks and hitting the hole. He’s a really good back.

“I know all the stuff he did in college, three straight seasons of 2,000 yards. I don’t care where you’re at, if you can do that you have got amazing talent. And I think he’s just an amazing running back, the things he can do with the ball. He got good balance, he can spin, he can catch it out of the backfield. I think he fits the offense perfectly.”

After Bennett’s comments got back to Zenner, many wondered what the Lions running back felt about it all. In fact, he was “appreciative” of the comments.

“That does not bother me, no,” Zenner told the Detroit Free Press. “Everyone’s entitled to their opinion and it sounded like he said some pretty nice stuff. So I’m appreciative of that and I think he’s a really good player and we’ve got to be ready to face him. He does some stuff that you just kind of say wow when you look at the tape.”

Still, the 2015 undrafted free agent doesn’t think he has received any white privilege or other undue consideration.

“I mean, I’m here, I had the same opportunity as everyone else so I would say none,” Zenner said.

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