Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett is known for being among the most honest and real players in the NFL when it comes to comments for the media, and that certainly remained true when he told reporters on Saturday that NFL players need to be as socially conscious and proactive as their NBA and WNBA counterparts; specifically citing Cam Newton as an example of a guy who could be doing more.
"Here in the NFL, the greatest players aren't in the forefront of the movement. Whether it's the CBA, whether it's things going on with trying to change the way -- concussions. The greatest players aren't involved like LeBron James, Chris Paul and all these guys [in the NBA]. Our great players are sitting back just taking the dollars, whether it's Cam Newton, all these guys. They're not really on the forefront of trying to change what's going on."
Of course, calling out any player by name is going to draw “oohs” and “ahhs” about a potential feud, but Bennett told SportsCenter on Monday that he’s already reached out to Newton to clarify what he meant by his statement.
"I just said that I'm not trying to make a division within the community of NFL players," Bennett said. "I'm just trying to bring unity, basically. Sometimes you read things, and it comes out like I'm saying that that's the main person. But I'm just saying that we need to work together to come together with what's going on and figure a way, how can we be better? How can we be better influencers?
Last month, Bennett also called out NBA player Steph Curry about hosting an expensive camp for kids in Bennett’s current home state of Hawaii. He’s clearly not concerned with confrontation (just as Germain Ifedi), as long as he believes it’s for the right reasons. Newton hasn’t said anything publicly in return about how he felt about the statement.
The Seahawks and Panthers play each other on December 4 in Seattle.