The NFL would prefer the players’ now-ubiquitous protests take a back seat to the action this season, but it looks like the league won’t get its wish.
If anything, the players seem ready to take their social critique beyond sitting during the anthem.
Bennett was the first Seattle player announced during pregame introductions before the home opener against the 49ers and received one of the loudest ovations.
Then he took what’s become his usual seat on the bench during the national anthem.
Protesters supporting Bennett, who says he was subjected to racial profiling and excessive force when Las Vegas police detained him last month, gathered outside the stadium.
Seattle center Justin Britt and running back Thomas Rawls stood next to Bennett each with a hand on his shoulder during the anthem. Teammates Cliff Avril and Frank Clark also sat with Bennett for the final moments of the anthem.
Out-of-work quarterback Colin Kaepernick generally is credited with starting the trend of kneeling or sitting during the national anthem in protest of police treatment of black citizens in the U.S.