Michael Bennett enjoyed a special moment Sunday after the Seattle Seahawks defeated the San Francisco 49ers 24-13 at Levi’s Stadium.
The Seahawks defensive end told reporters after the game that a Vietnam War veteran approached him on the field following the final whistle. According to Bennett, the man handed him a unit coin from Vietnam.
Bennett showed the memento to reporters in the locker room, and it clearly meant a lot to the 32-year-old, who spoke about both the gesture and the importance of supporting veterans who are dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder.
“He lost half his battalion. He was telling me about the POWs and the people missing in action. He gave that to me, says he loves everything I stand for,” Bennett said, according to ESPN.com. “That’s just an honor to be able to get something like that. That’s a big deal.
“So to be able to shine a light on some of the issues that are going on within the military or from after (war) is something I think as Americans we should definitely bring up,” Bennett added. “As much as we love everything they do, we should love everything that they’re going through too. So just to be able to support them. It was an honor for me to get that (coin).”
Bennett and several of his Seahawks teammates sat on the bench during the national anthem before Sunday’s game, continuing a protest of racial inequality in the United States. He’s made it clear his protest isn’t meant to disrespect the flag, the country or the military, though, and Bennett, who stopped the protest for a couple of weeks before sitting Sunday, plans to wear cleats in Week 13 to honor families of POW and MIA soldiers.
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images
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