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Michael Bennett: 'You need a white guy to join' Colin Kaepernick's protest

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Bennett and other Seahawks talked about what the next big step of the Kaepernick-inspired movement would be.

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NFL: Preseason-Minnesota Vikings at Seattle Seahawks Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

There isn’t a team that has been more outspoken for Colin Kaepernick’s anthem protest than the Seattle Seahawks. On Thursday, Michael Bennett talked about what he feels is the next major step that must happen for the Kaepernick-led charge to progress.

“You need a white guy to join the fight,” Bennett told the Seattle Times. “The white guy is super important to the fight. For people to really see social injustices, there must be someone from the other side of the race who recognizes the problem, because a lot of times if just one race says there’s a problem, nobody is realistic about it.”

The Times points out that there’s a clear racial divide in supporting Kaepernick.

A recent YouGov poll reported that 72 percent of blacks in this country support Colin Kaepernick’s demonstrations while 69 percent of whites disapprove. And according to a poll by E-Poll Marketing Research, 37 percent of white Americans dislike Kaepernick “a lot” vs. 2 percent of black Americans who feel the same way.

“I think (a white player speaking out) would have a great impact,” Seahawks’ Doug Baldwin said. “It would get a different part of the population to open their eyes and ears.”

No white player has taken a knee for Kaepernick’s movement, and Seahawks’ kicker Steven Hauschka talked about why.

“I think a lot of white people are uncomfortable talking about it,” Hauschka said, who is white. “I don’t want to speak for all white people, but I know for myself, I’m uncomfortable about the subject. There’s a lot of racial tension that goes way back, and I don’t know what it’s like to be black in this country. I don’t know how any white person could.”

The Seahawks’ Cliff Avril also recognizes the inability for many white people to completely understand the struggle black people face, while acknowledging the effect just one big name could have on the issue.

“If somebody like, say, Aaron Rodgers got behind us, I think it would touch home for a lot more people,” Avril said. “At the same time, I see why they probably wouldn’t, because they don’t know what we’re going through. That’s one of those situations where it’s unfortunate.”