Michael Bennett. (Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Defensive End Michael Bennett is going to be a Patriot, and he's looking forward to it—telling ESPN he looks up to Bill Belichick as "the Yoda of football" and saying he's ready to play in New England's winning environment.
But in that same interview, he admitted he was surprised at the trade. After all, he has been a strong supporter of Colin Kaepernick's protests, and knelt during the National Anthem himself, something he expected to make the Patriots wary.
Here's Bennett back in August 2017—then with the Seattle Seahawks—explaining to the Tacoma News Tribune why he chose to kneel.
"I just want to see people have the equality they deserve," he said. "I want to be able to use this platform to continuously push the message of that."
Belichick is a fan of the president, even writing Trump a note congratulating him after his election victory—and no matter what you make of the infamous "Make America Great Again" hat in Tom Brady's locker back in 2015, Trump is obviously a big fan of the QB.
With that in mind, Bennett made clear he intends to continue to use his notoriety to support causes important to him, and that he won't stand on the field for the anthem. He said he told Patriots team executives that his integrity means everything to him.
"I think they respect that about me, they respect who I am as an individual," Bennett told ESPN.
Maybe that shouldn't come as such a surprise. Michael's younger brother Martellus, who had two stints at TE for the Pats in 2016 and 2017, was also an outspoken supporter of Kaepernick while in New England, and raised his fist along with Devin McCourty during the anthem back in 2016.
There's also the possibility that the two brothers could play together for Belichick. Though Martellus Bennett recently made headlines for saying he wants to sell his Super Bowl LI ring, he is reportedly interested in coming back to the Patriots.