SANTA CLARA–On Wednesday morning, Seattle Seahawks’ defensive end Michael Bennett published a note on his Twitter account accusing the Las Vegas police department of using excessive force on Bennett following the Mayweather-McGregor fight in the city last Saturday.
Bennett said that after the event, he thought he heard gunshots, and like several hundred other people in the area, began running for safety. While running, Bennett said he was ordered to the ground by police officers, who placed a gun near his head and handcuffed his wrists. Bennett’s full account of the experience is posted below.
— Michael Bennett (@mosesbread72) September 6, 2017
On Wednesday afternoon, 49ers’ safety Eric Reid stood at his locker and offered his thoughts on Bennett’s situation and the traumatic experience Bennett endured. Reid resumed his national anthem protest during the preseason and said situations like Bennett’s are exactly why NFL players are using their platform to protest.
“These are the issues that we’ve been talking about for over a year now and this is another situation where I’ve seen people say, ‘Why do y’all speak up because why are y’all oppressed?” Reid said. “And at the end of the day, when you’re out there, you’re just another person in society. It doesn’t matter how much fame you have, it doesn’t matter how much money you have, the system treats black and brown people this way. From what I understand, he was leaving a place, running to get to safety and for some reason, he was singled out by police. I don’t know what to say about that. It’s not right. I’m praying for his family. I can’t imagine how traumatic it must be to have a gun held to your head for no reason at all. So it’s just unacceptable.”
Reid joined former 49ers’ teammate Colin Kaepernick last season during Kaepernick’s anthem protests, and elected to resume his anthem protests this year after the tragic events that unfolded in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Reid said he knows Bennett is active in the community, and that the incident that unfolded after the Mayweather-McGregor fight is one that sheds light on why NFL players are protesting publicly.
“I wouldn’t say well, I’ve seen him on the field,” Reid said, when asked if he knows Bennett. “I’ve met him a couple of times. I know he does a lot in the community and I know he’s been protesting as well for these issues. So it’s kind of case in point from what we’ve been talking about.”
The 49ers match up with the Seahawks in Seattle during week two of the regular season, but Reid said he’d like to reach out to Bennett in the near future to offer him his support as Bennett pursues his legal options.
“I’m sure I’ll see him on the field,” Reid said. “Probably not before, but after the game. I’ll probably send a message to him, reach out to him, just let him know that I support him. I think he said that he was going to weigh his legal options and I support him in that as well.”