With The Nation's David Zirin, Super Bowl Champion and three-time Pro Bowler Michael Bennett writes about growing up in the racist Deep South, charts his rise to the NFL, and explores the development of his activism in Black Lives Matter and other social-justice movements.
...a painfully honest, incredibly thought-provoking and often hilarious experience. That’s the best word for it: experience. That’s what it’s like watching, being around and talking to Michael Bennett, so it’s fitting his book emits the same energy ... Bennett explores the highs and lows of his personal and professional life, while providing commentary of issues of race, society, education, women’s rights and how those discussions intersect with sports ... Bennett does indeed have a superpower, but it’s not physical strength, superior intellect or the ability to pull off wearing underwear outside of pants while donning a cape. It’s bravery.
Wasting few words and fewer emotions in this memoir (written with Dave Zirin, sports editor of The Nation), he starts by examining the brutal realities of both collegiate and professional football ... The former Texas A&M Aggie includes poignant descriptions of his undergraduate years, noting that racism was at the center of his college experience. He also explains how post-traumatic stress disorder triggered in high school and college can follow athletes long after the stadium crowds stop roaring ... That conversation—illuminating systemic racism—is the most important 'thing' that makes white people uncomfortable, as his title has it. An admirer of Malcolm X, Angela Davis, Muhammad Ali and many others, Bennett is an agent of change.
Nothing is spared. Not the NFL. Not the Trump administration. Not police brutality. Not even the n-word ... there is more to this book than just politics. It’s also a moving memoir about a black youngster from a farm in Louisiana, where he picked okra and bell peppers, who rises to become a three-time Pro Bowler and a Super Bowl champion ... to rage about the plight of the black man in America ... That’s something that makes a whole lot of people uncomfortable.