by G. Brown
Defensive end for the Seahawks Michael Bennett had no defense when when he says a Las Vegas police officer threatened his life.
Bennett says he was in Las Vegas for the recent Mayweather-McGregor match up and after the fight was headed back to his hotel when he heard gunshots. Bennett says he and mobs of other people ducked for cover when a police officer came up to him and ordered the NFL player to get on the ground. Bennett says, “As I laid on the ground, complying with his commands to not move, he placed his gun near my head and warned me that if I moved he would ‘blow my f*****g head off,’” The 6’4″-270 lb defensive end says he was “terrified“. Bennett says a second officer “forcefully jammed his knee into my back making it difficult for me to breathe“.
Bennett shared his ordeal via a letter on his Twitter feed in which he compared his ordeal to that of Eric Garner, Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin in that “the system failed” him. Bennett says he felt helpless as he laid handcuffed on the ground and all he could think of was “I’m going to die for no other reason than I am black and my skin color is somehow a threat. My life flashed before my eyes as I thought of my girls. Would I ever play with them again?”
Some of what Bennett described was caught on video by a nearby camera and shown recently on TMZ Sports…
You can hear Bennett asking over and over “What did I do?”, but the officer handcuffing him seemingly ignores him. Bennett says he was thrown into the back of a police car and once officers confirmed his identity, he was released
But police say there was more to the story. Police say they were responding to a call about a possible shooting at a club and they ordered everyone not to move, but Bennett ran. Once outside a cop stopped him and that’s how Bennett ended up handcuffed and on the ground.
Bennett is alleging excessive force, but the video doesn’t show that nor can you hear any officer threatening to “blow his f**king head off“. That doesn’t mean Bennett didn’t hear an officer say that to him, it simply means the video above doesn’t corroborate his narrative of what happened.
Bennett says he was singled out as because of racial profiling and that’s why he’s always held a strong conviction that people must stand up to injustice. The timing of this incident involving Bennett is worth noting. The lineman joined a protest started by Colin Kaepernick and chose to sit during the national anthem at his preseason game when the Seahawks took on the Los Angeles Chargers last month. Bennett was very vocal about his protest announcing that after what happened in Charlottesville recently, he had to speak out on injustice. Bennett said that he would not stand the entire season when the anthem is played. Less than two weeks after his national anthem protest began, Bennett is handcuffed and thrown to the ground.
Bennett has every right to feel violated, but he seems sadly mistaken to believe what many Black celebrities seem to think—that money and fame buffers them from the reality of being Black. Bennett said, “equality doesn’t live in this country no matter how much money you make, what job title you have, or how much you give, when you are seen as a ‘ni**er, you will be treated that way.” Is Bennett standing up for the people who don’t have money and celebrity to stand on? Other Black celebrities like Morgan Freeman and rapper Lil’ Wayne have even used their success as proof that racism is no longer an issue in this country. Bennett didn’t seem to speak out on injustice until Charlottesville. And after his police incident he’s not just speaking out but ready to scream injustice..
What do you think…is Bennett the victim of excessive police force? Or is his pride hurt that police saw him as just another Black man first and an NFL star second?