NFL Player Goes Public About Police Encounter

Michael Bennett says he was handcuffed, threatened for 'being a black man'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 6, 2017 1:59 PM CDT

An NFL player is considering a civil rights lawsuit after he says Las Vegas police officers handcuffed him at gunpoint, threatened him, and used excessive force "for doing nothing more than simply being a black man in the wrong place at the wrong time." ESPN reports Michael Bennett of the Seattle Seahawks shared Wednesday on Twitter his account of incident, which happened following the Mayweather-McGregor fight Aug. 26. The defensive end says he was running from a club with hundreds of others after hearing what sounded like gunshots when he was singled out by police, ordered to the ground at gunpoint, and handcuffed with a knee in his back. He says one officer threatened to "blow my f------ head off." TMZ has video of the incident in which Bennett can be heard yelling, "I wasn't doing nothing."

While Bennett, who has gained attention this year for sitting during the national anthem, was released after police confirmed his identity, he was never given a reason "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 says. Bennett, who has hired a civil rights attorney, says the incident shows exactly why he's been protesting during the national anthem. "Equality doesn't live in this country and no matter how much money you make, what job title you have, or how much you give, when you are seen as a 'N-----,' you will be treated that way," he says. Colin Kaepernick tweeted his support for Bennett, calling the actions of police "disgusting and unjust." (More NFL stories.)

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