Not even celebrity of NFL player can prevent this
Even before the TMZ video was released, I have to admit, I was sickened.
The thought of NFL defensive lineman Michael Bennett tackled to the concrete of Las Vegas by a police officer, getting cuffed and having a knee jammed into his rib cage – all because he was a black man in a crowd – is nothing short of deplorable.
The Seattle Seahawks released his first-person account of what transpired in Vegas, outside the Connor McGregor-Floyd Mayweather fight 10 days ago on Twitter. Talk about chilling.
Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer called the account “stunning.” I prefer to call it “sickening.”
The problem here is that what happened to Bennett is not stunning to the African American community, even now in 2017. It’s an everyday occurrence. Colin Kaepernick tried to tell us that two years ago and got blackballed because of it.
Why are we in white America so scared of the truth?
How can anyone in this country be “stunned” by this?
It happens every day, not to poor people or city people. It happens to minority men, because of their skin color. It’s sad. Not stunning.
I’m an old man of 51 now, but I think back to my early 20s. A friend and I, both of us white, were towing a UHaul trailer back from Florida after helping his brother relocate. It was a tiring weekend, and we were about to hit the final leg of our journey on the Jersey Turnpike.
I smelled, I was fatigued, and darn it, I was driving with no shoes on.
As a New Jersey state trooper pulled up on my left, I panicked and struggled to put my shoes back on. I was a dumb kid.
I’m sitting there, fiddling around looking like I’m hiding something.
He pulled us over thinking “drugs” or “gun” or something, and he approached the car on the right of us, pistol drawn, cocked, and loaded.
I’ve never feared for my life more.
But, you know something? This officer never once crossed the line.
He barked at us to get our hands on the dashboard, then to exit the car. He demanded us to show our hands, and he detained us for at least an hour looking for drugs or something he was sure I was trying to hide, stuff that just didn’t ever exist.
Not once did the officer get physical or toss me to the ground. He didn’t jam his knee into my ribs and cuff me.
He treated me like a person, like Michael Bennett and every other person in this country – white, black, Asian, Hispanic, native American – deserves.
I’m angry that this behavior still goes on these days. It makes it tough to respect police when they will not return the same.
It’s just not “stunning” to me.
I wish it were.