Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll announced that he and the organization support star defensive end Michael Bennett after video evidence showed he was the victim of police brutality recently. Bennett used the example of violence to support his stance on national anthem protests.
“We stand in support of him and anyone facing inequalities,” Carroll said while addressing the media after Seahawks practice. “What happened with Michael is a classic illustration of the reality of inequalities demonstrated daily.”
Carroll, who referred to the incident as “horrendous,” said he hopes it will open up the conversation of racial inequality and the players’ protests.
“Maybe this incident [can] inspire all of us to respond with compassion when inequalities are brought to light, and allow us to have the courage to stand for change. We can do better than this.”
Carroll also released his official statement to the media via Twitter.
This comes hours after Bennett shared his recent experience of police brutality and TMZ Sports released partial video footage of the incident on Wednesday.
The video complies with Bennett’s testimony that he was handcuffed face down by force and told police “I wasn’t doing nothing man! I was here with my friends! They told us to get out, everybody ran,” after a noise that sounded like gunshots blared through the Las Vegas streets following the Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor fight less than two weeks ago.
Bennett is also shown pleading with the officer to explain to him what he is being accused of while also referring to him as “sir” as he’s being handcuffed in the video.
Early Wednesday morning, Bennett shared his experience in an open letter via Twitter.
Bennett claimed he ran away from the sound in consideration of his own safety and had an officer pull a gun on him, order him to the ground and threatened to shoot him if he moved. He added that a second cop came over and put a knee in his back to detain him.
Bennett said he was handcuffed by the officers and sat in the back of a police car until they confirmed his identity.
“The Officers’ excessive use of force was unbearable,” Bennett wrote. “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.”
The former Super Bowl champion has been one of the most outspoken players participating in the protests opposing the unequal treatment of minorities by law enforcement started by free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick last year.
Bennett noted that the incident and those similar are why he has chosen to sit during the national anthem and plans to continue to, “because equality doesn’t live in this country and no matter how much money you make, what job title you have, or how much you give, when you are seen as a N—–, you will be treated that way.”