Michael Bennett is a Super Bowl Champion, a three-time Pro Bowl defensive end, a fearless activist, a feminist, a grassroots philanthropist, an organizer, and a change maker. He's also one of the most scathingly humorous athletes on the planet, and he wants to make you uncomfortable.
Bennett adds his unmistakable voice to discussions of racism and police violence, Black athletes and their relationship to powerful institutions like the NCAA and the NFL, the role of protest in history, and the responsibilities of athletes as role models to speak out against injustice. Following in the footsteps of activist-athletes from Muhammad Ali to Colin Kaepernick, Bennett demonstrates his outspoken leadership both on and off the field.
Written with award-winning sportswriter and author Dave Zirin, Things that Make White People Uncomfortable is a sports book for our turbulent times, a memoir, and a manifesto as hilarious and engaging as it is illuminating.
“This book is a courageous and compassionate story of a great athlete and grand human being full of deep care for his fellow citizens! Don't miss it!”
“It would be easy for Michael Bennett to remain silent, to play in the NFL and make his mark through accomplishments on the field. Instead Michael has chosen to use his voice and his platform to fight injustice.”
—Senator Bernie Sanders
“There is a tradition of athletes who understand that sports is a way to reach people and change the world. I am proud and humbled to be recognized as part of that tradition. I believe that Michael Bennett's name deserves mention alongside the best of us. This book doesn't only explain the roots of Michael Bennett's courage. It will inspire the people who read it to conquer their fears and fight for what's right.”
—Dr. John Carlos, 1968 Olympic medalist
“I was going to say this is the most courageous books on race written by an athlete in my lifetime, but I actually think this is one of the most courageous books on race and racism in America that has ever been written by anyone. It’s that good and that important.”
—Shaun King, columnist for The Intercept and writer-in-residence for Harvard Law School’s Fair Punishment Project
“There is a revolution underway inside professional sports and Michael Bennett is at ground zero. In this revelatory book, he puts everything on the line to share the reasons, strategy, pain and deep thought behind this historic uprising. And he invites us into a vision of justice and liberation that is simply irresistible. This book is pure fire.”
—Naomi Klein, author of No Is Not Enough
“Michael Bennett—husband and father, citizen, NFL Pro Bowl Player and Super Bowl MVP—presents a series of perspectives on cultural, institutional, and political realities within the sports arena and beyond that provokes us to a deeper consideration of athlete political activism, activism that today makes many in white America uncomfortable. His arguments are as persuasively reasoned and analytical as they are passionate and moving, as challenging in their message as they are disarming in their humor. Though appropriately titled, the book at core really urges us all to a better understanding of the current saga of athlete protests, protests that are testament to what we already have become as a society and a warning about where we might be headed as a nation, protests that constitute a cautionary tale that should make us all, irrespective of race, at least a little ‘uncomfortable,’ perhaps even uncomfortable enough to ‘grow in our own responsiveness to the call to form that more Perfect Union.’ A must-read for anyone looking to better understand today’s political climate in American sports.”
—Harry Edwards, author of The Revolt of the Black Athlete
“Michael Bennett is one of the most outspoken and progressive voices in the NFL.”
—The Root ‘100 Most Influential African Americans 2017′
“With vulnerability, humility, and the courage to tell the truth, Michael Bennett reminds us at the heart of every social awakening are ordinary people who choose justice and resistance over silence and comfort. In a profession where independent thought is punished, Michael Bennett lays it all on the line with this book. Bennett’s insights into everything from Black Lives Matter, to college athletics, to intersectional feminism will not only make white people uncomfortable, but it will challenge the status quo of our entire society.”
—Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, author of From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation
“Michael Bennet is a warrior for justice. His spirit is in line and step with all those freedom fighters who came before him.”
—Craig Hodges, author of Long Shot: The Triumphs and Struggles of An NBA Freedom Fighter
“In a social media age where professional athletes are regularly criticized by anyone with a twitter account, Michael Bennett has the courage to stand up for what he believes despite the possibility of losing fans, support or endorsements. Whether it’s speaking on police brutality, systemic racism, Black Lives Matter, or human rights for Palestinian people he doesn’t hesitate to lend his voice. This book is a live wire. It's electric.”
—Etan Thomas, 10 Year NBA Veteran, author of We Matter: Athletes and Activism
“Things That Make White People Uncomfortable is a real and unblinkingly raw memoir that is going to make a lot of white people, and people of color too, very uncomfortable. And that is precisely the point. Because Michael Bennett is one of the most outspoken and dynamic athletes in America today, and his co-writer, Dave Zirin, is very clearly our nation’s most fearless sports journalist. Together they are Muhammad Ali and Howard Cosell bringing the noise about race, sports, and the wonderfully diverse life that is Michael Bennett’s journey as a Black man who refuses to be stereotyped. At a time when the protests of sport heroes like Bennett and Colin Kaepernick have once more revealed the huge racial divides that have always been present, what makes this book different, and so unique, is that Bennett remixes the past into an unavoidable and necessary dialogue for this 21st century, on his own terms. Indeed, Michael Bennett's voice echoes that of Jack Johnson, Paul Robeson, Ali. And his voice is that of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, too. Because Michael Bennett is clear, mad clear, that he is a leader and a change agent, too.”
—Kevin Powell, author of The Education of Kevin Powell: A Boy’s Journey into Manhood