Michael Bennett is one of the best defensive linemen in the NFL and also one of the most outspoken players in the league. The 31-year-old Seahawks defensive end makes the news frequently because he speaks his mind.
This week, he’s made headlines for engaging in a little confrontation with someone else who’s known for speaking his mind: Stephen A. Smith. The source of the disagreement: Colin Kaepernick and Kaepernick’s situation as a still-unsigned free agent.
Bennett said Seattle is “the perfect place” for Kaepernick, and Smith responded with a contrarian commentary on First Take. Smith is still furious with Kaepernick’s decision not to vote and that he made that public knowledge.
Bennett responded to Smith on Twitter, saying the host should have called him personally.
Smith said he “didn’t feel the need to call Michael Bennett, because I didn’t think I said anything offensive.”
Bennett responded with a lengthy takedown, saying Smith is “spreading so much ignorance,” and including a nod to noted activists Angela Davis and John Carlos. Bennett even included a “please be a better person” line.
Smith spoke what he said are his “last words” on the matter on his radio show Thursday.
“Michael Bennett for the Seattle Seahawks clearly has a problem with me, and that’s fine,” Smith said.
He said he has committed “hundreds and thousands of dollars” and significant time and effort “throughout my entire adult life” to help the black community. Smith added that he has personal relationships with a number of the most prevalent activists.
“I wish Michael Bennett nothing but the best, and I hope that when he’s somewhere in this country, helping the less fortunate than ourselves, he reaches out and asks me if I will join him,” Smith said.
So this odd back-and-forth appears to have a positive ending.