Michael Bennett is a Super Bowl Champion, a three-time Pro Bowl defensive end—as well as a fearless activist, a feminist, a grassroots philanthropist, an organizer, and a change-maker. He’s also been called one of the most scathingly humorous athletes on the planet, a trait that shines as he joins us to share excerpts from his book Things That Make White People Uncomfortable.
In conversation with Ethnic Studies educator Jesse Hagopian, Bennett offers a deep examination of turbulent times in America and their effect on the relationships of black athletes with powerful institutions like the NCAA and the NFL. He turns a critical eye on problems of racism and police violence unfolding in the public eye, and explores avenues for community action. He advocates for the critical role of protest in history and highlights the responsibilities of athletes as role models to speak out against injustice. Join Bennett and Hagopian for an evening equal parts memoir and manifesto, humorous and urgent—athlete and activist.
Michael Bennett played for the Seattle Seahawks in 2009 and again from 2013 to 2017. Bennett played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2009 to 2012, and he currently plays for the Philadelphia Eagles. He has gained international recognition for his public support for the Black Lives Matter movement, women’s rights, and other activist and social justice causes. In 2017, he was named one of the 100 Most Influential African Americans by The Root, was the Seattle Seahawks nominee for the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year award, and was honored along with his brother Martellus with a BET Shine a Light award for exceptional service.
Jesse Hagopian teaches Ethnic Studies and is the co-adviser to the Black Student Union at Garfield High School–the site of the historic boycott of the MAP test in 2013. Jesse is an editor for the social justice periodical Rethinking Schools, is the co-editor of the book Teaching for Black Lives, and is the editor of the book More Than a Score: The New Uprising Against High-Stakes Testing. He is an organizer with the Black Lives Matter at School movement, and is a founding member of Social Equity Educators.
Presented by Town Hall Seattle.