Israel’s tourism and public diplomacy ministries on February 5 announced that 11 NFL players were set to visit Israel and play in an exhibition game.
By the time the trip kicked off, there were barely enough players to field a basketball team.
Five players appeared at Haifa’s Rambam Hopsital on Tuesday, an embarrassing turnout just nine days after Tourism Minister Yariv Levin said that the NFL stars “will become ambassadors of good will for Israel.” The exhibition game was also cancelled.
Michael Bennett responded to that press release by becoming the first player to drop out of the trip. He explained his reasoning on Twitter, bashing Israel for attempting to “use” him for political purposes.
pic.twitter.com/7KERLCguoh— Michael Bennett (@mosesbread72) February 11, 2017
Cliff Avril, Justin Forsett, Carlos Hyde and Kenny Stills were also scheduled to appear, but did not make the trip. Calais Campbell, Dan Williams, Cameron Jordan, Delanie Walker and Mychal Kendricks are the players that travelled to Israel.