Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Michael Bennett’s publisher, says that racism is behind an arrest warrant charging that the player assaulted a paraplegic women in Texas.
A grand jury in Harris County, Texas, accused Bennett of pushing aside an elderly paraplegic worker during Super Bowl LI. Authorities say that Bennett was trying to gain access to the field after the game to join his brother, Martellus Bennett, who played for the New England Patriots at the time.
However, according to the publisher of Bennett’s new book, “How to Make White People Feel Uncomfortable, which is coming out next month. Bennett is the victim of racial bias.
In a March 24 statement, his publisher wrote:
Michael Bennett is being targeted for being a Black man who speaks out boldly against racism and police brutality.
The latest charges against Michael are clearly an effort by his political opponents — once again — to silence him. We will not let them succeed.
“We stand in solidarity with Michael,” Haymarket Books concluded. “We stand strongly behind his new book, which we are extremely proud to publish, and we applaud him for his ongoing work in solidarity with all of those who are challenging the voices of exclusion, intolerance, and racism.”
The Harris County indictment alleges that when security workers tried to prevent Bennett from stepping onto the field, the player forced his way past them employing that well-worn celebrity exclamation of “don’t you know who I am” and warning that he was going onto the field whether the security personnel wanted him to or not. Security workers said Bennett didn’t have the proper pass and wanted him to use a different entrance point.
The charge of injury to an elderly person can be filed in Texas if a perpetrator intentionally or knowingly causes injury to a person 65 years of age or older. A conviction can result in a 10-year prison sentence and a $10,000 fine.
The incident in Texas is hardly the only time Bennett has gotten crosswise with the law and then blamed it all on racism. In 2017 Bennett was briefly detained by police in Las Vegas when officers were searching for a reported active shooter as a local casino. Bennett claimed he was mistreated by police and threatened with bodily harm, but police video did not substantiate the player’s claims. Eventually Bennett blamed the whole incident on “racism.”
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.