Bears’ Martellus Bennett calls Ferguson ruling ‘an awakening’

SHARE Bears’ Martellus Bennett calls Ferguson ruling ‘an awakening’
SHARE Bears’ Martellus Bennett calls Ferguson ruling ‘an awakening’

David Bass’ family is safe.

But Bears defensive end, who had used the Ferguson, Missouri, shooting as an outlet to talk about his own racial profiling growing up in St. Louis, said little else Tuesday. Monday night, police officer Darren Wilson was not indicted in the Aug. 9 shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

“I’m trying to stay away from it,” the Bears defensive end said at Halas Hall. “I’m talking to my family, make sure my people are O.K.

“But as far as everything else — the ruling, certain people’s reactions, I couldn’t tell you too much about it.”

Tight end Martellus Bennett, though, said it was a topic in the locker room.

“Everyone’s affected by things that are going on in society at some point or another,” he said. “Not just the black guys or the white guys — something collectively that we all have to deal with.

“I think at this point it starts with one person at a time. You can’t go out and try to change the world. We’ve got to start changing ourselves before we can help anyone else change. Once we see the perspective of the world and we see things that need to be changed, we’ve got to do something about it. It’s one thing just to talk, but action is a lot more important that just words.”

Monday night’s decision led to protests in the St. Louis neighborhood and across the country. Bennett expressed hope that the next generation — including his infant daughter — could help change society.

“It’s an awakening,” the tight end said. “A lot of things have been going around in the U.S. the last couple years. I think it’s a chance for guys to stand up and say the right things — not only say the right things, but be the right people and do the right things.

“Some things, we can’t change. Racism’s been alive forever. It’s always going to be there. Prejudice, people have been prejudiced for a long time.

“But you got to look within, you know: How am I reacting? How am I affected by it? How can I teach my daughter?”

Email: pfinley@suntimes.com

Twitter: @patrickfinley

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