Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett and Miami Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills were set to go over to Israel on a goodwill trip with a bunch of other NFL players.
Bennett, however, announced Saturday that he’s skipping the trip because he said the Israeli government was making him an “influence and opinion-former” during his trip. He cited a Times of Israel article in his statement he posted on Twitter.
Stills is also skipping the trip, according to the Times of Israel.
Bennett and Stills was going to be part of a 12-player delegation that included Cliff Avril, Martellus Bennett, Delanie Walker, Michael Kendricks, Cameron Jordan, Calais Campbell, Carlos Hyde, Dan Williams, Justin Forsett, and former linebacker Kirk Morrison.
According to Times of Israel, the players were set to visit soccer stars from the Israeli Football Association and visit several Christian sites.
Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy Minister Gilad Erdan made the statement that upset Bennett.
“The ministry which I lead is spearheading an intensive fight against the delegitimization and BDS [Boycott, Divestment and Sanction] campaigns against Israel, and part of this struggle includes hosting influencers and opinion-formers of international standing in different fields, including sport,” Erdan said.