FOXBOROUGH — Though Bill Belichick may have thrown himself into the fray, the Patriots remained mostly apolitical through the election. Some players, however, subtly expressed their views.
Tight end Martellus Bennett was one of them. On election day, Bennett tweeted out Hillary Clinton’s slogan “I’m with her.” The morning after, he tweeted “Keep your head up. Tupac voice.” Bennett also played songs about resilience, like Tupac’s “Keep Your Head Up” and Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright” in the Patriots locker room Wednesday afternoon.
Bennett also wrote a letter to his daughter, which he posted with a picture on Instagram on Wednesday. He wrote that he “wasn’t totally sure” how the election would impact her future but promised to help her “love, accept others for who they are, think for yourself, help others in need, achieve what the world deem impossible.”
“Oh man, I’m just like any other father in the world, you know, just concerned about the future of their children just like any other parent,” Bennett said Thursday.
He remained positive, but did say he found the result of the election frightening.
“I mean, I think so. Everyone’s a little nervous about, you know, the whole presidency but it is what it is,” Bennett said. “There’s nothing we can do about it, nothing I can say, the people have spoken. The only thing I can do is be the change that I wish to see in the world and for me that starts at home and that starts in myself.”
Bennett wasn’t all serious Thursday (he rarely is). He also joked about his brother Michael, a defensive end for the Seahawks. Michael is rehabbing from knee surgery and is out for Sunday’s Seahawks-Patriots game, but Martellus isn’t crying over the lost chance to go head to head.
“Nope. Not upset at all,” Martellus said.
“It’s always fun playing against — well it’s not fun, actually, I hate playing against my brother.”
Bennett said that he always wants his brother to be healthy and he always roots for him but “not this week.” Bennett joked that he’d want Michael to play well, but not too well, if he were healthy.
“‘Hey, I don’t want you to go out there and be terrible but I don’t want you to go out there and be great either! It’s like, find some way to be a C-average student like you were growing up,” he said.
Without both Bennett brothers on the field, the opportunity for the second most famous “u mad bro” in Patriots-Seahawks history is probably lost.
Martellus Bennett is still in a funny spot within the Patriots-Seahawks rivalry. Few players in New England are friendly with their Super Bowl XLIX opponents, but Bennett knows many of the Seahawks through his brother. He’s friendly with coach Pete Carroll and most of the defense, and linebacker Bobby Wagner has “felt the wrath of my crossover on the basketball court,” Bennett said.
He also knows defensive end Cliff Avril, who he has been trying to text when he thinks Avril will be in a meeting this week.
“I kind of mess with him a little bit,” Bennett said. “Slow him down, whatever, try to distract him while I think they’re in meetings because the time is different there so I try to text him at certain periods of time when I know he’s at work.”
Bennett “somehow” wound up in a group text message with his brother and the rest of the Seattle defensive linemen during the summer. They still haven’t taken him out of it, even though he’s across the country.
“I was like, ‘Y’all can take me out now, the season’s starting, you can take me out!’ ” Bennett said.
Unfortunately, Bennett hasn’t gleaned any inside intel as the messages have been unrelated to football.
“Nah, they just talk about stuff,” Bennett said. “Rich people stuff. That’s what they talk about.”
Bennett has even gotten to know many Seahawks players’ families, having been “forced” to watch Michael in the playoffs in five of the last six seasons when his teams were out of the running.
“It sucks to watch other people play at that time of year,” Bennett said. “You see, when they won the NFC Championship that one year I was there and you know, it was like, ‘Good job, but damn. [Expletive]. Like, it’s cool! I’m happy for you, bro! But at the same time I’m about to go get in the car.’ ”
Bennett is unlikely to find himself in that situation this year. Michael Bennett will be healthy soon, too. If both teams have their way, the Bennett brothers could very well get a rematch in a few months time.