For Immediate Release:
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Rally Supporting Michael Bennett
Standing with Kaepernick
Rally for Kaepernick and Black lives before Seahawks first home game, Sunday, September 17th
Michael Bennett’s brother Rashaud Bennett to speak out about police brutality incident in Las Vegas
Sponsored by: Seattle King County NAACP, The Social Equality Educators (SEE)
The following speakers are confirmed for the rally:
Gerald Hankerson – President, Seattle King County NAACP & NAACP Alaska Oregon Washington State Area Conference
Reshaud Bennett – Artist, Dreamer, Future Author, Do'er of all Things, brother of Michael Bennett
Katrina Johnson—Cousin of Charleena Lyles
Dave Zirin – The Nation magazine Sports Editor & co-author of Michael Bennett's forthcoming book, Things That Make White People Uncomfortable.
Jesse Hagopian – Social Equality Educators board member
Nikkita Oliver – Creative, teaching artist, attorney, & organizer
When: Sunday, September 17that 11:00am
Where: 4th & Jackson. Union Station.
Across the street from Bartell's Drug.
Seattle, WA--A rebellion against injustice and in support of Black lives has erupted in the NFL. It started last season when Colin Kaepernick made the courageous decision to draw attention to police brutality and oppression by taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem. Because of his willingness to speak truth to power, Kaepernick is actively being blackballed from playing in the NFL and no team will sign him.
Seattle Seahawk pro bowler and Super Bowl champion Michael Bennett has been one of the biggest supporters of Kaepernick and one of the most prominent NFL players supporting the movement for Black lives. Bennett has sat during the national anthem during the entire preseason and has vowed to continue for the entire season, in an effort to highlight the unjust murder of Black people by police and the rising white supremacy that was on display in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Recently Michael Bennett was in Las Vegas for the Mayweather-McGregor fight. On the morning of August 27th, a reported shooting on the Vegas strip led to chaos. Michael Bennett ran for cover, as did hundreds of others. Instead of being assisted, video and photographic evidence shows that Las Vegas police targeted Bennett, put him on the ground in handcuffs while the primary officer took out a weapon and placed it near the back of his head. According to Bennett, the officer said that if Bennett moved he would "blow [his] fucking head off." Bennett was then put in a police car, and after a period of time let go without charges.
“The horrific treatment of Michael Bennett by the Las Vegas police will not be tolerated by advocates of justice and equality,” said Seattle King County NAACP President Gerald Hankerson said. “Michael Bennett is a superstar, not only on the field but in our communities, and we are coming together in his hour of need.”
“Michael Bennett has long stood for our community,” said Seattle high school teacher Jesse Hagopian. “Michael has given his time and his money to support many local initiatives for youth in Seattle. Now we are standing up for him.” Jesse Continued, “Michael’s support for the victorious movement for ethnic studies in the Seattle Public Schools, his support for the Black Lives Matter at School day initiative, his support of the Freedom School program, his community garden initiative at interagency schools and the youth detention center make Bennett an invaluable contributor to uplifting education in Seattle.”
The Nation magazine sports editor, Dave Zirin, said, “The NFL is denying Colin Kaepernick employment not because he isn’t ‘good enough,’ but because he is using his platform to protest the killing of black kids by police.”