Michael Bennett is among the NFL players who have taken part in political demonstrations during the national anthem for the past several years, but the veteran defensive end may have to change his approach now that he is a member of the Dallas Cowboys.
Bennett, who has sat and kneeled during the anthem in the past, had been remaining in the locker room during the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” while he was with the New England Patriots. When asked about that on Tuesday, Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said he does not “anticipate that being an issue” for Bennett in Dallas.
New Cowboys DE Michael Bennett stayed in locker room during pregame national anthem this season with Patriots. Jason Garrett: “We don’t anticipate that being an issue. We’re excited to have him here. … We anticipate him doing what all of players do.” pic.twitter.com/5vx1L8Yycy
— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) October 29, 2019
What exactly does that mean? The Cowboys have made it known to players that they want them to be on the sideline with their teammates during the national anthem. Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News was told by a source that the Cowboys spoke with Bennett about his anthem demonstrations prior to trading for him, and the team likes to work with players individually regarding their social justice causes. However, it sounds like Bennett has agreed to be present on the sideline.
Bennett has stood during the anthem in the past, but that was for a very specific reason. Perhaps he and the Cowboys have reached some sort of compromise where he can be present on the sideline but still continue to express his beliefs.