Michael Bennett traded: Goodnight and good luck
By Lee Vowell
Michael Bennett is now a member of the Philadelphia Eagles. He was traded from the Seahawks on Wednesday. These are the facts. But Bennett leaves behind a winning and opinionated legacy that will be missed in Seattle.
Michael Bennett was, until today, my favorite member of the Seattle Seahawks. The jersey I have worn the most the last four years has been my number 72 one. I liked Bennett for several reasons. He was a great player at an important position. Bennett seemingly held (and holds) a lot of the same political views I do. And he was outspoken and honest.
Honesty is something we lack a lot in life. Not just from professional athletes but from the general public. One may or may not have liked what Bennett said, but you knew what he was thinking. And his teammates appeared to respect him for that. When Bennett decided to sit for the national anthem, Justin Britt would place his hand on Bennett’s shoulder. Britt may not have agreed with Bennett (or he may have), but the center respected his teammate’s right to sit.
Which is one reason it was so odd to hear Pete Carroll say before the 2017 season that everyone should stand for the anthem. Maybe he was just saying what the NFL would want him to. Or maybe he actually feels that way and there was a rift beginning between coach and player.
But from what we think we know about Carroll, this probably wasn’t the case. He has always let his players be themselves.
But the media is a different story. Some members of local media – Jim Moore, for instance – have talked about how Bennett was disparaging to the reporters covering Seattle. Maybe he was. Bennett didn’t really play the media “game.” He didn’t feel the need to. He seemed a bit of a sensitive soul on the field, but off it, less so.
Media and culture
I don’t work in the regular media, though. I am more of a professional fan. And Michael Bennett was my favorite Seahawk. He may have possibly been my favorite professional athlete. Bennett played for my favorite football team. He was really good, and still is – just he will be playing with another team. And he not only voiced his opinions, his actions backed them up.
My fear is that the Seahawks have made changes not only to the roster, but also to the locker room. Bennett is gone. Richard Sherman, also not one to keep his opinions to himself, may also leave. Has Seattle made a change to the roster not only based on age but outspokenness?
Related Story: Richard Sherman could also be gone from Seattle...
If that last part is true, the Seahawks are not only a lesser team on the field but off it. Seattle is a special and a liberal city. Michael Bennett fit in pretty well with the team and the culture of the area. He will be missed both on and off the field.