Michael Bennett, new Eagles defensive end, is an advocate for social justice

Philly welcomes another outspoken player to the team.

Michael Bennett and his family in Bennett Foundation swag

Michael Bennett and his family in Bennett Foundation swag

Twitter / Michael Bennett

Rumblings coming out of the locker room at the Linc might be a bit louder next season.

The Eagles have agreed to a trade with the Seattle Seahawks for defensive end Michael Bennett, a decision that was rumored to have been made to “quiet things down” for the West Coast team.

Yes, the Pro Bowler has a history of being outspoken on social justice issues. It’s a habit he seems likely to continue, no matter which bird he’s repping in shoulder-pads — especially because many of his new teammates in Philly are also not afraid of holding back.

Bennet, a 32-year-old father and husband, has been a vocal activist for years.

The Bennett Foundation, dedicated to “community, education, activity and nutrition,” has been serving families in Hawaii, Washington and Texas for the past four years. In 2016, Bennett was in the news for his staunch support of Colin Kaepernick’s decision to sit during the national anthem, and decision to follow suit.

More recently, Bennett gained publicity after an altercation with the police on the the night of the Mayweather-McGregor showdown.

A misunderstood incident led to a tense he-said, police-said moment, which Bennett described in an open letter posted to social media.

The personal note about fearing for his life during the encounter with law enforcement moved many, including renowned poet and hip-hop artist Common. It did not, however, move Sheriff Joseph Lombardo of the Las Vegas Police Department. The blurry body cam footage that was later released did not help clarify the situation, with some citing confusion and outrage and others continuing their unwavering support.

Since receiving accolades for that statement, Bennett has transformed his social media pages into platforms for championing criminal justice and social equality.

He has been named one of The Root’s 100 Most Influential African Americans, and along with his brother, NFL tight end Martellus Bennett, was awarded the Shine A Light Award from BET.

Here’s more of what Bennett has been up to lately:

1) Channeling the 1968 Olympics Black Power salute

2) Appearing on CNN to advocate for equality

 3) Donating all of his 2017 endorsement money to charities

(iamtheCODE, an organization with the ambition to “enable 1 million women and girl coders by 2030,” was one of many nonprofits included)

4) Using his stardom to elevate the causes of others

5) Setting up a gardening program for at-risk youth

6) Speaking truths about race in America

What campaigns, issues or discussions will the “Black Santa” be moved to participate in when he lands in Philadelphia as an Eagle?

As yet unknown, but we can keep busy before football season kicks off with Bennett’s upcoming book. Titled Things That Make White People Uncomfortable, it’s available online here.

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