Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett didn’t want to rehash what happened with him and the police in Las Vegas, but his feelings on the incident were quite clear.
Bennett wrote in a letter posted to Twitter on Wednesday that he was singled out by police for no reason, forced to the sidewalk and had guns drawn on him after attending a Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor fight in Las Vegas. TMZ later posted a video of the incident.
Bennett had a news conference Wednesday afternoon at the Seahawks facilities, and he was reluctant to talk about the details of what happened but shared some of his feelings.
“It’s an emotional moment for me,” Bennett said. “I know a lot of people are like, ‘Did he want this on himself?’ I didn’t ask for this moment. It just happened to be me. I’m just lucky to be here to be able to speak about it. At any moment I could have made the wrong decision, whether to move and [the police] could have felt like I was resisting or doing something wrong and the Seahawks would be wearing the patch with No. 72 on it. I’m just lucky to be here right now, to be able to continuously fight for people, fight for equality of all people regardless of their color, regardless of their gender, regardless of all that.”
Bennett has been one of the players who is sitting for the national anthem, and what he went through in Las Vegas puts that in a different light.
“It’s a hard journey. Sometimes you feel like you’re alone, but there’s a lot of people who support me,” Bennett said.
“People ask why I sit down. This is why.”
After about five minutes of speaking with the media, Bennett was reminded that he has said some people will always judge him solely on his race, and whether he has reflected on that since the police incident.
“I think I reflect on that constantly, daily,” Bennett said. “I try to tell my daughters every single day that they matter, and that … ”
Bennett stopped for a few moments as he tried to compose himself, and then left the podium.
Michael Bennett press conference from VMAC. https://t.co/HfThX6M3XF
— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) September 6, 2017
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, who is entering his fifth season as Bennett’s coach, posted a letter that supported Bennett.
May this incident inspire all of us to respond with compassion and courage pic.twitter.com/vtsaB8BWi5
— Pete Carroll (@PeteCarroll) September 6, 2017
In the letter Carroll said what happened to Bennett is an example of inequality and he hopes that and other incidents “allow us to have the courage to stand for change.” He ended the letter simply, by saying, “We can do better.”
NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith also commented on the incident Wednesday.
— DeMaurice Smith (@DeSmithNFLPA) September 6, 2017
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