Running While Black (Michael Bennett)

The Las Vegas Police Union Goes in the Gutter to Attack Michael Bennett:  The Las Vegas Police Protective Association’s letter to Roger Goodell is repugnant, dangerous, and irresponsible by Dave ZirinTwitter

“Michael Bennett has taken the great risk of coming forward for the simple reason that he knows he has the money and resources to stand up in a way that so many people hurt by police violence do not.”

The Las Vegas Police and police union have only made themselves look worse by their premature statements and attempt to attach other issues to an incident that stands alone.  Not every individual can afford to hire a lawyer and defend themselves.

Michael Bennett’s Attorney Calls for Investigation into Las Vegas Police

I am ashamed to see headlines like the one above because I know there are thousands of similar incidents that people of color experience daily that I never hear about and they can do little or nothing about.  In Michael Bennett’s case, he seems to have been targeted for “running while black.”  Fortunately, he has supportive teammates among the Seattle Seahawks and the NFL itself is abstaining.

While it might be stretching things a little to suggest that Bennett’s support of Colin Kaepernick is related, I’m sure the subsequent “discussion” related to “dishonoring the flag” as a reasonable motive for further actions really was.  Apparently, if you’re black, you shouldn’t use your fame to fight for what you believe in.  I only hope that support from white NFL players continues to grow.

I believe in everyone’s right to non-violent respectful protest.  Individuals with the platform to make that more visible, engendering more awareness and discussion, are my heroes and should not be penalized.  You shouldn’t have to agree or conform to every idea or view your employer or anyone else holds.  That’s what being American means.