Noted anthem protester and Eagles defensive end Michael Bennett, admitted on Monday night that the NFL anthem protests were a “gesture.”
According to Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times, Bennett said the protests were “never about the flag.”
“It isn’t so much about the gesture anymore,” Bennett said. “We don’t have to take a knee. We just have to work in our communities.”
Bennett said that he would have liked it if the NFL had come up with a different anthem policy. Yet, the former Seahawk would not venture a guess as to how players would respond to the new rule.
“I don’t have any predictions,” he said. “I don’t know what’s going to happen.’’
While the player protests were obviously a mere gesture, to many of those watching. Hearing an anthem protest leader such as Michael Bennett actually describe them that way, is rather surprising. Moreover, if in Michael Bennett’s view, the player protests amounted to nothing more than mere gestures and the community activist work was the real work, then why did the players spend the last two years taking a knee during the anthem?
If it’s true now — that community activism is the key to racial harmony and solving police brutality — then it was also true in the preseason of 2016 when Colin Kaepernick began the anthem protest movement.
Which means, Michael Bennett has just confessed to what conservatives, moderates, and even many liberals have known for the better part of two years; that the anthem protest movement was nothing more than a fad.
An easy way out for the summer activist and sunshine protester. An excuse that would keep them from having to do the real work that could, and should have been done. Now, taking stock in the aftermath of this purely narcissistic indulgence, we can see clearly that the players accomplished nothing more than tanking the once unrivaled popularity of the country’s most popular sport.
At least someone finally admitted to it.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn