Seahawks' Michael Bennett shakes hands, speaks with veterans out - KPTV - FOX 12

Seahawks' Michael Bennett shakes hands, speaks with veterans outside practice facility

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(Facebook / Dayna Mink Coats) (Facebook / Dayna Mink Coats)
(KPTV) -

Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett shook hands and spoke with veterans outside the team’s practice facility this week. 

On Sunday, NFL players across the league knelt during the national anthem. The protest was in response to remarks President Donald Trump made over the weekend.  

In a post to Facebook, Dayna Mink Coats said she was driving near the Virginia Mason Athletic Center, the Seahawks training facility, when she saw a car stopped in the middle of the road and people standing alongside the road Tuesday.  

She thought it might be a car accident, but it was a group of military veterans who had gathered in front of the training facility. 

“Mostly all seniors who had probably seen the battlefield firsthand,” Coats wrote. “They were proudly wearing their veteran’s hats, jackets and some carried American flags. The car in the middle of the road… it was Michael Bennett’s.”

Bennett has sat on the bench during the national anthem for weeks. He began sitting on the bench during the preseason after he says he was a victim of racial profiling and excessive force in Las Vegas. 

Coats said Bennett was driving to practice when he saw the veterans and stopped. She said he had gotten out of his car and was having a conversation with them. 

“Just as I drove by I witnessed Michael and a veteran shaking hands and smiling,” she wrote. “I was so excited, I snapped another picture. Suddenly, that image brought an unexpected wave of extreme emotion over me and I instantly and almost uncontrollably started bawling.” 

Coats said she had to pull over, and a few of the veterans came by to see if she was OK, followed by Bennett. 

She then spoke with him about how she felt regarding the protests during the national anthem. 

“I simply said, ‘Michael, I am so torn and I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to disrespect our country, our flag or my husband who’s in the military but I want to understand. I’m a big Seahawks fan and I don’t know what to do?’” Coats wrote. 

She said they talked for about 20 minutes, and he explained how he also had family members in the military. 

“He talked about a lot of things I knew were coming from his heart, too,” she said. “The word unity was used several times and he admitted he didn’t know where to go from here. I do not know either. Nor do I know what the correct answers are… but I do know, I am thankful for those veterans and thankful Michael stopped to talk with them… and inadvertently me.” 

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