by Angela Davis |@jerseygirlsport |@ladyadavis
"Just stick to sports!" This is the phrase some athletes, and many supposed sports fans
were saying in response to Colin Kaepernick's protest against police brutality.
The recent incident involving Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett brings this issue back to the forefront.
Bennett was attending the Mayweather Jr. - McGregor fight in Las Vegas
last month when gun shots rang out. He ran amidst the crown and, according to Bennett officers targeted him and used excessive force violating his rights.
According to Bennett's statement, the incident occurred in the early morning hours on Aug. 27, after the Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregorfight in Las Vegas, when police apprehended him after hearing what sounded like gunshots in a crowded area.
Bennett wrote that officers pointed guns at him "for doing nothing more than simply being a black man in the wrong place at the wrong time" and ordered him to lie down on the ground.
Bennett wrote that one officer, with his gun drawn, warned him that he would "blow my f---ing head off" if he moved. Another officer jammed his knee into Bennett's back and handcuffed him, according to Bennett.
"The Officers' excessive use of force was unbearable," Bennett wrote. "I felt helpless as I lay there on the ground handcuffed facing the real-life threat of being killed. All I 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.'"
Bennett wrote that he was placed in a police car before officers confirmed his identity, realized he was not a suspect and released him "without any legitimate justification for the Officers' abusive conduct."
"They apparently realized I was not a thug, common criminal or ordinary black man but Michael Bennett a famous professional football player," he wrote.
Just when the conversation around Colin Kaepernick
was sort of calming down, this happens, and reminds us why Kaepernick took a knee in the first place. For those that STILL refuse to 'get it', Kaepernick's protest was NOT against the flag, vets, military or even police. However, it WAS against rogue police and those that abuse their power. Bennett gets it.
It sucks that in the country that we live in now, sometimes you get profiled for the color of your skin," Bennett said in a news conference. "It's a tough situation for me. Do I think every police officer is bad? No, I don't believe that. Do I believe there's some people out there that judge people on the color of their skin? I do believe that."
We've seen too much of that in this country, and until the flag represents a country that does what it proclaims, taking that knee
will always be the right thing to do,
and Bennett and others will continue to call out injustice.
Now that it's happened first-hand to a high-profile player, it will be interesting to see how the other players in the NFL respond.
What do you think?