Michael Bennett and Dave Zirin

Foreword by Martellus Bennett

Haymarket Books (Spring 2018, world English rights)

Trade Paper • ISBN-13: 9781608468935 • US $26.95 • 8.5 in x 5.5 in • 220 pgs.


Michael Bennett is a Super Bowl Champion, a two time Pro Bowl defensive end, a fearless activist, a feminist, a grassroots philanthropist, an organizer, and a change maker. He’s also one of the most scathingly humorous athletes on the planet—and he wants to make you uncomfortable.

Written with award-winning sportswriter and author Dave Zirin, Things That Make White People Uncomfortable is a sports book for our times, a memoir and manifesto as hilarious as it is revealing.

Bennett, a defensive end for the Seattle Seahawks, has gained international recognition for his public support for the Black Lives Matter Movement, women’s rights, and other social justice causes. Bennett donates all his endorsement money and half of the proceeds from his jersey sales to fund health and education projects for poor underserved youth and minority communities, and recently expanded his reach globally to support STEM programming in Africa.

Co-author Dave Zirin has been called the “finest, most important writer on sports and politics in America” by Dr. Cornel West. He is sports editor for The Nation and author of several books, including the critically acclaimed The John Carlos Story, written with 1968 Olympian John Carlos.


“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!”

Dr. Cornel West, author, Race Matters

Things That Make White People Uncomfortable is a real and unblinkingly raw memoir that is going to make a lot of White people, and people of color too, very uncomfortable. And that is precisely the point. Because Michael Bennett is one of the most outspoken and dynamic athletes in America today, and his co-writer, Dave Zirin, is very clearly our nation’s most fearless sports journalist. Together they are Muhammad Ali and Howard Cosell bringing the noise about race, sports, and the wonderfully diverse life that is Michael Bennett’s journey as a Black man who refuses to be stereotyped. At a time when the protests of sport heroes like Bennett and Colin Kaepernick have once more revealed the huge racial divides that have always been present, what makes this book different, and unique, is that Bennett remixes the past into an unavoidable and necessary dialogue for this 21st century, on his own terms. Indeed, Michael Bennett’s voice echoes that of Jack Johnson, Paul Robeson, Ali. And his voice is that of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, too. Because Michael Bennett is clear, mad clear, that he is a leader and a change agent, too.

Kevin Powell, author, The Education of Kevin Powell: A Boy’s Journey into Manhood

“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.”

John Carlos, 1968 Olympic medalist

“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, No Is Not Enough

“Michael Bennett—husband and father, citizen, NFL Pro Bowl Player and Super Bowl MVP—presents a series of perspectives on cultural, institutional, and political realities within the sports arena and beyond that provokes us to a deeper consideration of athlete political activism, activism that today makes many in white America uncomfortable. His arguments are as persuasively reasoned and analytical as they are passionate and moving, as challenging in their message as they are disarming in their humor. Though appropriately titled, the book at core really urges us all to a better understanding of the current saga of athlete protests, protests that are testament to what we already have become as a society and a warning about where we might be headed as a nation, protests that constitute a cautionary tale that should make us all , irrespective of race,  at least a little  ‘uncomfortable,’ perhaps even uncomfortable enough to ‘grow in our own responsiveness to the call to form that more Perfect Union.’ A must-read  for anyone looking to better understand today’s political climate in American sports.”

Harry Edwards, author, The Revolt of the Black Athlete

“One of the most outspoken and progressive voices in the NFL”

The Root, “The Root 100 Most Influential African Americans 2017′


Michael Bennett is a two-time Pro Bowler, Pro Bowl MVP, Super Bowl Champion, and two-time NFC Champion. He is the co-founder with Pele Bennett of The Bennett Foundation, which educates underserved children and communities through free, accessible programming in Hawaii, Washington, Texas and globally.

Martellus Bennett is an NFL player, children’s author, and younger brother to Michael Bennett. His first children’s book Hey A.J. It’s Saturday was released in 2016 through his own company, The Imagination Agency.

Dave Zirin is the sports editor for The Nation and the author of several books, most recently Brazil’s Dance with the Devil.


Brazil’s Dance with the Devil: The World Cup, The Olympics, and the Fight for Democracy (Updated Edition)

Welcome to the Terrordome: The Pain, Politics, and Promise of Sports

What’s My Name, Fool? Sports and Resistance in the United States


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