Seahawks Defensive End, Michael Bennett released a detailed statement, yesterday about being arrested by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department in late August. Bennett believes he was arrested for doing nothing more than being a black man, and he also accuses an officer of using excessive force when arresting him. What allegedly happened to Bennett may be a wake-up call not just for the black community but for black athletes. It should show athletes and any other famous black person that status does not matter, because before anything else, they will always be black.
Yesterday, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s (LVMPD), Undersheriff Kevin McMahill held a press conference in which he talked about the incident.
Bennett has hired a civil rights attorney and is weighing his legal options.
Bennett did not need to release a statement on the incident. Before yesterday, not many people knew Bennett was arrested in Las Vegas.
Bennett has been an outspoken supporter of the anthem protest in the NFL. He was one of the first athletes to come out and support Colin Kaepernick, when he took a knee during the national anthem, last season. Bennett has also called for more white players to get involve in the anthem protest. Bennett is a leader on and off the field and he has proven himself to be very knowledgeable on social issues.
What happened to Bennett should propel more athletes to get involve in speaking on social issues. Athletes are in a unique position, they have financial status and a platform to highlight issues. More athletes, especially black athletes should use their platforms to highlight social issues that are important to them. Saying something may not change the issue immediately, but it will at least spark a conversation.
Bennett was a black man who happen to encounter multiple police officers. During this incident, he was a black man who just so happened to be an athlete.
For the black community, this is an incident that most are used to hearing about. A black man encounters a police officer and it usually ends very badly. Fortunately for Bennett he came out of the incident alive and able to go home to his family.
Bennett is leading the charge and more athletes of all colors and creed need to join him, by using their platform to highlight more social issues. Athletes must remember that it does not matter how great they are on the court, the football field, or anywhere else, they are always one crazy incident away from losing everything. More athletes need to step up to the plate and use their platform to highlight social issues.