Published: Saturday, September 30, 2017 @ 9:10 AM
SEATTLE — A photo circulating online of Seattle Seahawks player Michael Bennett burning an American flag is fake.
The original photo of Bennett shows him dancing in the locker room after a victory.
The original photo was shared by the Seattle Seahawks over Twitter on Jan. 3, 2016. The photo is credited to Rod Mar on the team's website.
A photoshopped version of the photograph is circulating online and was posted to the “Vets for Trump” Facebook page where it has garnered over 6,000 shares. It was also shared to the KIRO 7 News Facebook page. The altered photo has since been removed from Facebook, but was captured in other social media posts.
The fake photo was posted after a Sunday of NFL protests during football games.
The Seattle Seahawks were among the protesters; the team stayed in the locker room during the anthem before their game.
The Seahawks put out a statement in the afternoon before the game, saying they would not participate.
"As a team, we have decided we will not participate in the national anthem," the statement reads. "We will not stand for the injustice that has plagued people of color in this country. Out of love for our country and in honor of the sacrifices made on our behalf, we unite to oppose those that would deny our most basic freedoms."
Earlier this week, Bennett shook hands with military veterans outside the team’s practice space, as photos on social media showed.
Dayna Mink Coats wrote on Facebook that when driving near the Virginia Mason Athletic Center in Renton on Tuesday, she saw a parked car in the middle of the road.
“I thought it might be a car accident so I snapped a picture. As I got closer I realized it was group of military veterans who had assembled in front of the VMAC,” Coats wrote. “Mostly all Seniors who had probably seen the battlefield firsthand. They were proudly wearing their veteran’s hats, jackets and some carried American flags. The car in the middle of the road … it was Michael Bennett’s.”
Coats said as she drove by the veterans and Bennett shaking hands, she became emotional. So she pulled over in tears.