by Agence France-PresseSeattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett and Denver Broncos running back Justin Forsett will skip a trip of NFL players to Israel next week to avoid showing favoritism over Palestinians.
Bennett, who helped the Seahawks win the 2014 Super Bowl, released a statement on Twitter explaining his decision to withdraw from the visit.
Bennett said he saw a Times of Israel report that the itinerary was being sculpted by the Israeli government “for the purposes of making, in the words of a government official, an ‘influencer and opinion-former’ who would then be ‘an ambassador of good will.'”
“I will not be used in such a manner,” Bennett wrote. “When I do go to Israel — and I do plan to go — it will be not only to see Israeli but also the West Bank and Gaza so I can see how the Palestinians, who have called this land home for thousands of years, life their lives.”