Sports | October 19, 2017 8:39 am

Seahawks’ Bennett: Kaepernick Resolution Needed Before More Owner Talks

Players have been meeting with owners about working together on social causes.

Seattle Seahawks defensive lineman Michael Bennett said that the issue of Colin Kaepernick’s unemployment must be addressed before NFL players, owners, and the league as a whole can move forward with their conversations about working together on social causes, reports ESPN

Bennett said that the first step towards these conversations is “making sure Colin Kaepernick gets an opportunity to play in the NFL.” The lineman said that he thinks this should come before they negotiate whether to sit or stand during the anthem.

“All of us are having an opportunity to be able to speak to our employers, but to think about the guy who started everything not to be able to have a voice at this moment, it just doesn’t seem very right to me,” Bennett said, according to ESPN. 

NFL players and owners met in New York on Tuesday. Bennett was unable to be there because of practice, but he said that Kaepernick was brought up during the meetings. However, there wasn’t much discussion about him, and Bennett doesn’t think they can “work alongside of them until we address that issue,” according to ESPN. 

“I think the issue with Kaepernick is the start to a conversation. If they want us to be open to what they want, the dialogue, then that’s something that needs to be on the table right there,” he said, according to ESPN. 

Bennett is one of many players who believe Kaepernick has remained unsigned because of his decision to protest the national anthem last season while he was playing for the San Francisco 49ers. Bennett said that “if you look at the quarterbacks playing in the NFL right now, out of the backups, I can’t name one better than him,” reports ESPN. 

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said Wednesday that he thinks players should stand for the anthem, but Bennett said that he still plans to sit in the future. He started sitting for the anthem at the start of this year’s preseason, and continued through Seattle’s first two regular-season games, reports ESPN. During week three, the Seahawks remained in the locker room during the anthem in response to Donald Trump’s comments about firing players who protest the anthem. He sat again during week four, reports ESPN, but then all Seahawks stood the following week in honor of the victims of the Las Vegas mass shooting.

Bennett was critical of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who said that if his players don’t stand, they won’t play. Bennett called Jones’ stance “crazy” and “inconsiderate of a person being a human being.” He said that he thinks it sends the wrong message to young people “all across the world that your employer doesn’t see you as a human being, they see you as a piece of property.”