Inside The Amazing Wardrobe Of Mr Michael Bennett
The NFL star, author and activist takes us through his favourite clothes.
Mr Michael Bennett is a star – a star football player, which is a category unto itself with its own Janus-type polarities. He has been on the field for more than a decade, from his high-school years in Houston, on to Texas A&M, then as part of the Seattle Seahawks’ vaunted Legion of Boom defence. Now with the Philadelphia Eagles, the 33-year-old defensive end has risen to the highest levels of the sport – playing in two Super Bowls and three Pro Bowls – but always playing behind a mask. In person, on the street, as he was walking around downtown Philadelphia on Thanksgiving weekend with us, Mr Bennett is often treated by fans like something of a god. When speaking out on issues of inequality, though, whether within the NFL or in the US at large, he says, he is treated as somewhat less than deserving of a citizen’s full freedom of speech.
So, for Mr Bennett, being seen as he really is, is a big deal. Offering himself up without artifice or protection, no helmet, no pads, as he does in his memoir-cum-political-broadside, the puckishly titled Things That Make White People Uncomfortable, was even bigger. In the wake of Mr Colin Kaepernick’s blackballing by the league, Mr Bennett’s self-expression was even potentially risky – a risk he took with eyes wide open.
In his book, and in life, as he steps forward to be seen – knowing full well the ways in which his words and images could be parsed, misconstrued, weaponised – Mr Bennett has had to take incredible care that he says precisely what he means. So, imagine the care with which he presents himself. Imagine what a big deal it is for Mr Bennett to feel he has ably and eloquently expressed himself, in person and on the page. And consider, then, how much time and care and consideration he puts into his clothes and outward appearance. Add to this the fact that the man has great taste and you see why he is a dream collaborator for our new, ongoing series, My Amazing Wardrobe.
Get the look
Film by Mr Jacopo Maria Cinti