By Dan Bernstein–
CBSChicago.com senior columnist
(CBS) Get to know Browns tight end Seth DeValve, the first to answer Seahawks defensive lineman Michael Bennett’s recent call.
Bennett said of the growing anthem-protest movement in the NFL that, “It would take a white player to really get things changed because when somebody from the other side understands and they step up, and they speak up about it … it would change the whole conversation.”
We can now see if it will, because DeValve joined eight black Cleveland Browns teammates Monday night in kneeling before their exhibition game. He spoke to reporters after and explained that despite his deep love for his country, it “doesn’t provide equal opportunity to everybody.”
“I wanted to support my African-American teammates today who wanted to take a knee,” he said. “We wanted to draw attention to the fact that there’s things in the country that still need to change.”
DeValve is a second-year pro, drafted in the fourth round in 2016 out of Princeton, where he earned a degree in mechanical and aerospace engineering. His name will be remembered if Bennett proves correct in his assessment of the meaning of such a move.
As Bennett told ESPN, “Because when you bring somebody who doesn’t have to be a part of (the) conversation making himself vulnerable in front of it, I think when that happens, things will really take a jump.”
DeValve chose to make himself vulnerable in that way, and now we see how the conversation continues.