Michael Bennett has withdrawn from a group of NFL players who are planning to visit Israel next week.
Writing about his decision in posts on Twitter and Instagram on Friday night, Bennett said he was concerned that the goodwill tour, which is sponsored by the Israeli government, would be viewed as showing preference to Israel over Palestine.
"I was not aware ... that my itinerary was being constructed by the Israeli government for the purposes of making me, in the words of a government official, an 'influencer and opinion-former' who would then be 'an ambassador of good will,'" Bennett wrote. "I will not be used in such a manner. When I do go to Israel -- and I do plan to go -- it will be to see not only Israel but also the West Bank and Gaza so I can see how the Palestinians, who have called this land home for thousands of years, live their lives."
An open letter in The Nation has called on the players to "consider the political ramifications of a propaganda trip organized by the Israeli government that aims to prevent players from seeing the experience of Palestinians living under military occupation."