In an embarrassment to the Israeli government, only five of 11 NFL players arrived on a sponsored trip aimed at improving the country’s image.
The ministry for strategic affairs and public diplomacy issued a press release after the Super Bowl boasting that the visit would bring “influencers” who would serve as “goodwill ambassadors” when they returned home.
However, the announcement led Seattle Seahawks defencive lineman Michael Bennett to boycott the trip in solidarity with Palestinians, accusing the government of trying to use him for PR purposes. Several others players followed suit.
“I want to be a voice for the voiceless and I cannot do that by going on this kind of trip to Israel,” Bennett said last week.