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Justin Britt Stands Next to Michael Bennett During National Anthem Protest

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured Columnist

Seattle Seahawks center Justin Britt (68), and cornerback Jeremy Lane (20) stand near defensive end Michael Bennett (72) as Bennett sits on the bench during the national anthem before the team's NFL football preseason game against the Minnesota Vikings, Friday, Aug. 18, 2017, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Scott Eklund)
Scott Eklund/Associated Press

Seattle Seahawks center Justin Britt stood next to Michael Bennett and placed a hand on his shoulder as the defensive end continued to sit for the national anthem in a silent protest against social injustice prior to Friday night's preseason game against the Minnesota Vikings at CenturyLink Field.  

According to ESPN.com's Sheil Kapadia, the two players embraced once the anthem concluded. 

On Saturday, Britt tweeted an explanation for why he stood by Bennett:

"It was very touching for me, a very emotional moment to have that kind of solidarity from someone like Justin Britt who's a known leader in our locker room and who's from a different part of America from me," Bennett said, per John Boyle of the team's official website. 

Bennett recently told ESPN's SC6 he thought white players needed to get involved in anthem protests to facilitate change. 

"It would take a white player to really get things changed, because when somebody from the other side understands and they step up and they speak up about it...it would change the whole conversation. Because when you bring somebody who doesn't have to be a part of [the] conversation making himself vulnerable in front of it, I think when that happens, things will really take a jump."

Bennett expressed a similar sentiment last September after Colin Kaepernick started to kneel for the national anthem. 

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On Thursday, Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Chris Long placed his arm around safety Malcolm Jenkins—who had his fist raised in protest during the anthemin a show of support for his teammate. 

"I just told Malcolm, 'I'm here for you,'" Long said after the Eagles' 20-16 win over the Buffalo Bills, per the Philadelphia Inquirer's Jeff McLane. "I think it’s a good time for people that look like me to be here for people that are fighting for equality."

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