Last week Seattle Seahawks defensive lineman Michael Bennett accused the Las Vegas police of racial profiling and excessive use of force. Now Bennett is claiming the incident changed him “spiritually.”
Bennett appeared on Good Morning America to discuss his accusations, according to Pro Football Talk.
“Every time I see my wife, I try to kiss her like it’s the first time we ever met,” Bennett said. “Every time I play with my daughters I try to hold them like they were just born. Because I don’t know. And the situation right there just made it a reality for me that… it could happen at any moment.”
Bennett insisted that police mistreated him after an active shooter incident in Las Vegas, hours after the prize fight between Floyd Mayweather and UFC champ Conor McGregor on August 24.
Bennett says he now fears the police.
“I’m terrified,” Bennett insisted. “I’m literally just, like, worried if I make the wrong decision . . . if I move too fast, if I twitch, and somebody says I’m resisting . . . because I’m a big guy, you know what I’m saying?”
Despite the assurances of police that he wasn’t racially profiled, Bennett claims that what happened to him is “un-American:”
I think it’s un-American what happened to me, having guns drawn on me. I say it’s un-American what happened to Eric Garner. It’s un-American, what happened to Trayvon Martin. It’s un-American that there’s . . . no equality for people. . . . What I’m doing is . . . it’s the most American thing that you could do, is fight for equality for everybody, and have a unity for the country.
Bennett also claimed that athletes have a duty to use their sport to push their politics, saying, “For me personally the reason why I stated that and why I thought it was important is because as athletes we have a platform. We have an opportunity to speak up about social issues that we feel dearly about.”
And I know that some fans could say that you’re being paid to put on this product. And I agree with them wholeheartedly. They’re not being paid to stand in the stands. They’re actually paying to come to the games. They don’t necessarily have a platform in that particular instance to make a social topic relevant. So why is it difficult for fans to understand that and also to just follow suit as well to stand for the national anthem if they feel so strongly about that? There’s a broader topic here, a broader conversation. My point is we’re all imperfect human beings. Why can’t we just inject some more empathy and understanding instead of just pointing the finger all the time?
Bennett insists that he won’t just “stick to sports.”
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.