NFL player pulls out of Israel trip - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

NFL player pulls out of Israel trip

JERUSALEM (AP) -- An American professional football player has pulled out of a planned trip to Israel, accusing its government of trying to use him for PR purposes.

Seattle Seahawks defensive lineman Michael Bennett cited Muhammad Ali's support for the Palestinians, saying he too wanted to be a "voice for the voiceless."

Israeli officials had boasted the visit this week would bring "influencers" who would serve as "goodwill ambassadors" when they return home.

But in a letter posted on Twitter Saturday, Bennett said: "I will not be used in such a manner." The Miami Dolphins' Kenny Stills indicated he also will skip the trip.

The delegation, which includes Bennett's brother Martellus of the champion New England Patriots, is to arrive Monday.

Israel's public diplomacy ministry, a sponsor of the trip, declined comment Sunday.

Associated Press 2017

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