In a new interview, Seattle Seahawks defensive end and anthem protester Michael Bennett, blows off accusations that he lied about being racially profiled by the Las Vegas police.
“I can’t really worry about what people say because there’s a certain part of people who are not going to believe you regardless of what you do,” Bennett told ESPN. “So for me, it’s continuously stay on my position and keep doing what I do.”
Bennett claimed that Las Vegas officers racially profiled him and roughed him up outside a casino as officers searched for a reported live shooter in the hours after the Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather fight on August 26.
“The Officers’ excessive use of force was unbearable,” Bennett claimed in a September 6 statement. “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.’ My life flashed before my eyes as I thought of my girls. Would I ever play with them again? Or watch them have kids? Or be able to kiss my wife again and tell her I love her.”
Vegas officials, though, denied Bennett’s claims and said his temporary detention was not based on race and that there was no proof at all that Bennett was threatened by officers.
The LVPD also demanded that the NFL investigate Bennett’s unsubstantiated claims that he was profiled and mistreated by police, but the league refused to launch any such investigation.
Despite the mounting evidence that Bennett’s version of the incident does not stack up, the player insists that he pays no mind to the detractors.
“So like I said,” Bennett continued, “I don’t hate anybody or have a problem with any police officers. Just that what happened to me is a certain situation.”
“People are entitled to their position and what they believe in, no matter what happened,” Bennett concluded. “So at the end of the day, there’s going to be people who believe me and people who don’t believe me, and my ultimate goal is not to make everybody believe me or make everybody happy, it’s just about me being able to sleep at night and continuously speak upon what happened to me personally.”
Still, video evidence of the action of police does not seem to prove Bennett’s version of events, and it isn’t likely an investigation will find any.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.