Running back Thomas Rawls #34, defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson #91, defensive tackle Nazair Jones #92, defensive end Branden Jackson #67, defensive tackle Jarran Reed #90 and defensive end Michael Bennett #72 of the Seattle Seahawks stand during the national anthem for the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium on November 9, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Seahawks Michael Bennett stands during national anthem ahead of Veterans Day

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According to an NFL sportscaster, Bennett told NBC that he stood for the anthem on Thursday to make it clear he supports the military. 

For months, Bennett has said he sits during games as a demonstration for equality, not because he doesn't respect people who have served. His father served 10 years in the U.S. Navy.

In September, a story about Bennett went viral when he shook hands with veterans on the side of the road outside the Seahawks practice facility. 

Dayna Mink Coats posted a photo of that encounter. She wrote on Facebook that when driving near the Virginia Mason Athletic Center in Renton Sept. 26, she saw a parked car in the middle of the road. 

Coats said as she drove by the veterans and Bennett shaking hands, she became emotional. So she pulled over in tears.

“A few of the veterans came over to see if I was ok and behind them walked up Michael Bennett,” Coats wrote. “I was unprepared and not expecting this situation in my morning. But with eyes welled up with tears and speaking from my heart … 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?’ He reached in and hugged me.”

They talked for nearly 20 minutes, and Bennett explained how he had family in the military too.

“The word unity was used several times and he admitted he didn’t know where to go from here. I do not know either,” Coats wrote. “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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