Michael Bennett has a powerful message on race, police
Michael Bennett, a professional athlete moonlighting as an activist, has another message about race issues in America.
In a pre-recorded monologue for ESPN's The Undefeated, the Seahawks defensive end delivered a pieced title "A Letter From Michael Bennett" in which he discusses the controversial topic of police violence against the black community.
While naming recent victims of police violence -- Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Sandra Bland, Freddie Gray and Charleena Lyles -- Bennett poses the following questions:
"How can we trust each other when so many of our people are lost?"
"How can we trust each other when there's been no justice? How can we trust our system when nobody has been to jail?"
Bennett's letter is part of an ESPN special titled "The State of the Black Athlete," a series created by The Undefeated. On Sunday ESPN's Cari Champion hosted "Dear Black Athlete," a series of discussions about sports and race, featuring numerous athletes and community leaders gathered at the Sixth Avenue Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama.
After detailing the fear of being a black man pulled over by a police officer, Bennett ends his letter breaking down the difference between policing and serving a community.
"Policing and serving is two different things," Bennett says. "I think policing is you come in and you uphold the law. You stopping drug dealers, doing all that stuff. Serving is showing up to the community events, and when you see a guy pulled over, instead of wondering if he's selling drugs, maybe his tire is flat. It's all about being human beings at the end of the day. I think serving is the first thing that we gotta do. Serve the community."
Speaking out on social issues isn't new for the 32-year-old Bennett, of course.
In just the past eight months he has: worn hats and shirts from Colin Kaepernick's Know Your Rights Camp; repeatedly called for the former QB to be signed by an NFL team; hosted a fundraising rally for Lyles' family; sat during the national anthem before nearly all of Seattle's preseason and regular season games; filed a civil lawsuit after being a victim of police harassment in Las Vegas; and penned a book titled "Things That Make White People Uncomfortable," due to release April 3.
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