November 28, 2017 Katie Gainer
In an interview following the Seahawks’ 24-13 victory over the 49ers on Sunday, defensive end Michael Bennett offered some sly remarks to Janie McCauley of the Associated Press regarding his opponents’ less-than-boastful attendance this season.
The announced paid attendance at Levi’s Stadium for the game was 70,134 – seemingly impressive in a 75,000 capacity stadium that has been ridiculed for its emptiness for weeks. Bennett, however, was quick to point out the discrepancy in actual versus paid attendance.
“There might not be any fans in the stadium, which there wasn’t a lot of fans in the stadium,” Bennett said.
“I looked online you could’ve gotten a ticket for $17. You can’t even get a ticket for $17 to my house…Tickets to my house would be $300 a pop.”
What exactly Bennett meant by this, we do not know, but home game tickets to the now 1-10 49ers have been consistently inexpensive. Their next two home games host the Titans and the Jaguars, and can be purchased on Ticket Club for as low as $25 and $16, respectively.
When not trash-talking the 49ers’ unenthusiastic fan base or leading his own team in sacks, Bennett is well-known in the NFL as a prominent philanthropist and activist. His own organization, The Bennett Foundation, works to fight obesity through community outreach, educational workshops, physical activity and nutritional programs. He has also teamed up with iamtheCODE to advance STEM education for women and girls and with the King County Youth Detention Facility in Seattle.
Bennett joined Colin Kaepernick in the (in)famous protest this year, taking a knee during the national anthem for most of this season’s games to call attention to racial injustice and police brutality in the U.S. The most common criticism of the protest is that it displays a disrespect for the U.S. military, but active members and veterans alike have come forward to object that protesting is a right that the military fight to protect. One such veteran approached Bennett on Sunday, and offered him an Army unit coin from his time in the Vietnam War.
Michael Bennett shares Army unit coin he got from a Vietnam vet after game. Seahawks DE sat for anthem after honoring military recent weeks. pic.twitter.com/jVjXsbS1LM
— Janie McCauley (@JanieMcCAP) November 27, 2017
“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 told reporters afterward, according to ESPN’s Brady Henderson. “That’s just an honor to be able to get something like that. That’s a big deal.”
And despite his playful slights afterwards, Bennett didn’t just take a knee during the anthem; he also knelt for an injured San Fran player during Sunday’s game. He retweeted this fan’s take on that decision:
Seeing @mosesbread72 kneel for his injured opponent says more about his character than kneeling during the national anthem. If you don’t understand the importance of that, I fear for the future. #SEAvsSF
— kellydrodofsky (@KellyDrodofsky) November 27, 2017