Morning sports update: Ja’Whaun Bentley explained why he went to hear Ben Watson speak at a Boston Common rally

"I would say only time will tell whether or not everything we’re doing will have a huge effect."

Ja'Whaun Bentley helps Lawrence Guy, Danny Shelton and Jamie Collins make a tackle during the 2019 season.
Ja'Whaun Bentley helps Lawrence Guy, Danny Shelton and Jamie Collins make a tackle during the 2019 season. –Matthew J. Lee/Globe staff

The sports world continues to make its return after lengthy pauses due to the coronavirus pandemic. On Wednesday, the Premier League resumed with two games played without fans.

Elsewhere, the NFL continues to prepare for its upcoming season in the fall. Taking proper precautions will be difficult, as Dr. Anthony Fauci outlined in a recent interview.

“Unless players are essentially in a bubble — insulated from the community and they are tested nearly every day — it would be very hard to see how football is able to be played this fall,” Fauci told CNN. “If there is a second wave, which is certainly a possibility and which would be complicated by the predictable flu season, football may not happen this year.”


Ja’Whaun Bentley on his appearance at a Boston Common rally: On Sunday, now-retired Patriots tight end Ben Watson spoke at the “Boston Pray” event on Boston Common.

Among those present was 23-year-old Patriots linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley. During a recent virtual press conference, Bentley explained why he went.

“Obviously, through the times that we’re experiencing right now dealing with trying to address police brutality as well as systemic racism that’s going on, a lot of people are working hard, whether it’s donating, protesting, a lot of different ways they want to make an impact,” said Bentley. “I felt like Ben’s event was the perfect way to kind of rejuvenate yourself as well as continue to use your platform to make an impact to create awareness.

“So, a lot of times, you begin to kind of wear down with the constant talk and the constant creating awareness, and you need to kind of regroup and try to fill your tank up, so to speak, in a way to continue to create awareness.,” Bentley continued. “I thought that was a great opportunity to do so.”

Bentley was asked about what impact he thinks the recent wave of protests against police brutality and racial injustice will have in the long term.


“I would say only time will tell whether or not everything we’re doing will have a huge effect,” Bentley explained. “But me personally, seeing everybody there just allows you to see how much everybody wants to be a part of change, be a part of history and address the many moments that we’ve been exposed to within the past few weeks, as well as trying to address things that have been going on for hundreds of years. So, that was an opportunity for a lot of people to express themselves and also create awareness.”

Given the Patriots’ free agent departures at linebacker (with Kyle Van Noy and Jamie Collins both gone), more responsibilities could fall on Bentley in the 2020 season. A fifth-round pick in 2018, he now believes he could begin to help players younger than him.

“I definitely think that being in a position where you are in, you have played for a few years and you do have knowledge, I feel like the best benefit will be to share that knowledge,” said Bentley. “It’s not good to have knowledge if you don’t want to share it with anybody. So, me not being too far removed from those experiences, I think I will have a lot to offer.”

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Rob Gronkowski, actually a decent rhythmic gymnast:

Chase Winovich released a video of his (pre-pandemic) tour of the North End:

On this day: In 1975, Red Sox rookie Fred Lynn went an astounding 5-6 with three home runs, a triple and a single in a 15-1 win over the Tigers. In total, Lynn drove in 10 runs.


“I got an ovation from the crowd in the stands in centerfield,” Lynn said afterward of the Detroit fans. “And it was great. Because the last time I played here, they were throwing golf balls at me.”

Daily highlight: American midfielder Weston McKennie scored for German team Schalke in a 2-1 loss to Eintracht Frankfurt on Wednesday.

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