The NFL's Michael Bennett, has ignited a controversy by refusing to go to on a trip to Israel with a group of NFL players, USA Today reported.
"The power athletes have in contributing to the fight for justice is evidenced in the legacy of the late Muhammad Ali, who himself was an advocate for Palestinian rights", the letter stated.
Bennett's decision came on the heels of an open letter by renowned musicians, artists and social justice advocates released Thursday asking the National Football League players "to consider withdrawing from the delegation given Israel's track record of human rights abuses".
Israel Minister for Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy Gilad Erdan said in a statement: "I see great importance in the arrival of this delegation of National Football League stars to Israel".
Citing his own values and conscience, Bennett adds that he "cannot do that by going on this kind of trip to Israel".
After Bennett posted the letter on Twitter, Miami Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills retweeted it, saying, "Couldn't have said it any better".
'I know that this will anger some people and inspire others.
Your trip to Israel comes at a time of growing cooperation between the US and Israeli governments, as evidenced by the close relationship between President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu, who both are eager to work together to continue implementing their right-wing, racist agendas.
Bennett was to be part of a delegation that is scheduled to arrive Monday and includes Seahawks teammate Cliff Avril, Delanie Walker of the Tennessee Titans, Mychal Kendricks of the Philadelphia Eagles, Cameron Jordan of the New Orleans Saints, Calais Campbell of the Arizona Cardinals, Carlos Hyde of the San Francisco 49ers, Dan Williams of the Oakland Raiders and Justin Forsett of the Denver Broncos.
The visit will include stops at a hospital, the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial and a meeting with the "Black Hebrews", a community of African Americans who live in southern Israel. Activists had urged Bennett to pull out of the trip in protest of human rights violations against Palestinians.
It was undersigned by various far-left organizations, including the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights, the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel and its U.S. -based counterpart, as well as Jewish Voice for Peace.
The announcement comes just days after Bennett's brother Marcellus, who plays for the New England Patriots, said he would reject an offer from President Trump to be honored with his Super Bowl-winning team-mates at the White House.
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