Michael Bennett is a Super Bowl Champion, a three-time Pro Bowl defensive end, a fearless activist, a feminist, an organizer, and a change maker. He's also one of the most humorous athletes on the planet, and he wants to make you uncomfortable. Bennett adds his 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 young people who want to make a difference, a memoir, and a book as hilarious and engaging as it is illuminating.
Michael Bennett is a three-time Pro Bowler, Pro Bowl MVP, Super Bowl Champion, and two-time NFC Champion. He has gained international recognition for his public support for the Black Lives Matter Movement, women's rights, and other social justice causes. In 2017, he was named one of the 100 Most Influential African Americans by The Root, was the Seattle Seahawks nominee for the NFL's Walter Payton Man of the Year award, and was honored along with his brother Martellus with a BET Shine a Light award for exceptional service. He is the cofounder with Pele Bennett of The Bennett Foundation, which educates underserved children and communities through free, accessible programming. He has held free camps and health clinics in Seattle, in his hometown of Houston, in his current offseason home, Honolulu, and in South Dakota on the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe. He donates all of his endorsement money and the proceeds from his jersey sales to fund health and education projects for poor and underserved youth and minority communities, and recently expanded his reach globally to support STEM programming in Africa. Dave Zirin is the sports editor for the Nation and the author of several books, most recently Brazil's Dance with the Devil. Named one of UTNE Reader's "Fifty Visionaries Who Are Changing Our World," Zirin is a frequent guest on MSNBC, ESPN, and Democracy Now! He hosts WPFW's The Collision with Etan Thomas and has been called "the best sportswriter in the United States," by Robert Lipsyte.
John Wesley Carlos: John Carlos is an African American former track and field athlete and professional football player. He was a founding member of the Olympic Project for Human Rights and won the bronze-medal in the 200 meters race at the 1968 Summer Olympics. His black power salute on the podium with Tommie Smith caused much political controversy. He went on to equal the world record in the 100 yard dash and beat the 200 meters world record. After his track career, he enjoyed brief stints in the National Football League and Canadian Football League but retired due to injury. He became involved with the United States Olympic Committee and helped to organize the 1984 Summer Olympics. He later became a track coach at a high school in Palm Springs, where he now resides. He was inducted into the USA Track & Field Hall of Fame in 2003. "John Carlos Memoir" is his first book.
Dave Zirin is the author of four books, including Bad Sports, A Peoples' History of Sports in the United States, What's My Name Fool! and Welcome to the Terrordome. He writes the popular weekly column "The Edge of Sports" (edgeofsports.com) and is a regular contributor to SI.com, SLAM, The Los Angeles Times, and The Nation where he is the publications first Sports Editor. He lives in Washington, D.C..
“Michael Bennett is an agent of change.” —The New York Times
“A shockingly honest take on sports and politics.” —The Stanger
“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!” —Cornel West
“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