Star Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett is one of several NFL players that have taken up Colin Kaepernick's course of action by , by kneeling, sitting, or raising a fist in the air. Bennett, who says he will continue to sit during the anthem, has been outspoken about his , his , and .
Bennett relayed a story Wednesday that exemplifies exactly why he feels it's so important to continue getting the message out there.
After the Las Vegas prize fight between Floyd Mayweather and Connor McGregor, Bennett was walking back to his hotel when a gun shot rang out from a crowd. He ran away from the scene just as others did, but unlike most of them, Bennett was stopped and harassed by police in the area. Here's what Bennett says happened next.
"A police officer ordered me to get on the ground. As I laid on the ground, complying with his commands not to move, he placed his gun near my head and warned me that if I moved he would 'blow my f---ing head off.' Terrified and confused by what was taking place, a second Officer came over and forcefully jammed his knee into my back making it difficult for me to breathe. They then cinched the handcuffs on my wrists so tight that my fingers went numb.
"I kept asking the Officers, 'What did I do?' and reminding them that I had rights they were duty bound to respect. The Officers ignored my pleas and instead told me to shut up and then took me to the back of a nearby police car where I sat for what felt like an eternity until they apparently realized I was not a thug, common criminal or ordinary black man but Michael Bennett a famous professional football player. After confirming my identity, I was ultimately released without any legitimate justification for the Officers' abusive conduct."
TMZ Sports obtained video of a portion of the incident, which can be seen here:
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department release the following statement in response to Bennett's allegations:
Reference a statement made by Michael Bennett, this case is under investigation. Reserve judgment. We will address this publicly today.— LVMPD (@LVMPD) September 6, 2017
Kaepernick tweeted the following after seeing Bennett's story: "This violation that happened against my Brother Michael Bennett is disgusting and unjust. I stand with Michael and I stand with the people."
Bennett's story is not an unfamiliar one, as we have unfortunately seen over the years, that people of color are often disproportionately the targets of abuse and unfair treatment. Stories like this one are the reason Kaepernick and other players are using their platform to take a stance against police brutality and unfair treatment of people of color in the first place.
Before this incident, Bennett explained that he, no matter how he justified them.
"I'm being vulnerable right now," Bennett said. "There's a whole bunch of people sitting at home judging me, but they will never get to this point where they can be vulnerable. Let people attack me because they don't believe what I believe in, but at the end of the day, I'm being vulnerable to show every person that no matter [what] you believe in, keep fighting for it. Keep fighting for equality. Keep fighting for oppressed people. And keep trying to change society."