A Look at Michael Bennett, The Las Vegas Incident, and Perceived Character Issues

Photo Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

I wrote a bit yesterday about Michael Bennett’s fit along the Eagles’ defensive line. We touched on his “character issues” towards the end of the piece but decided to put off a legitimate dive for a separate story, which you’re currently reading.

You’d probably heard his name come up before Wednesday, most notably during a summer incident in which he accused the Las Vegas Police Department of racial profiling.

The incident took place after the Floyd Mayweather/Conor McGregor fight in late August. Bennett went online a few days later to detail his account of what happened, which you can read below:

Bennett alleged that he was singled out and had a gun pointed at him for “being a black man in the wrong place at the wrong time.” He claims officers used excessive force and made threats against him.

The Vegas PD underwent a three-week investigation and announced on September 29th that they had found no evidence of police misconduct.

Sheriff Joe Lombardo presented those findings at a press conference:

It’s worth watching the portion of the video with the police explanation, which runs about 17 minutes. Lombardo goes through surveillance video and multiple pieces of body camera footage while walking reporters through the situation.

He did not, however, have video from the officer who detained Bennett. That officer’s camera apparently was not turned on, so take that into consideration. That police officer is Hispanic and the two others in the vicinity were a second Hispanic officer and a black sergeant, according to the sheriff.

TMZ has another angle of the incident, but you still don’t see the actual takedown, which happened below a ledge that blocks the camera:

Bennett was handed off to another officer before he was eventually released. Police say he was detained for ten minutes, seven in a police car, and then let go.

Bennett spoke a few weeks later in October, holding steady on his assertions:

“Obviously, at the end of the thing, I’m talking to officers who weren’t a part of it. I got taken to another officer, and that’s the one I ended up talking to towards the end,” Bennett said. “So like I said, I don’t hate anybody or have a problem with any police officers. Just that what happened to me is a certain situation.

“People are entitled to their position and what they believe in, no matter what happened. So at the end of the day, there’s going to be people who believe me and people who don’t believe me, and my ultimate goal is not to make everybody believe me or make everybody happy, it’s just about me being able to sleep at night and continuously speak upon what happened to me personally.”

Bennett said he hasn’t seen the video: “I was there, so I don’t need to see the video.”

You can go through those videos and decide for yourself whether officers behaved appropriately or not.

Social Injustice

Bennett is a Colin Kaepernick supporter and decided to sit down during the National Anthem last season.

He explained his reasoning for that in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper:

You might recall that Bennett was joined by white teammate Justin Britt in a show of solidarity:

Said Bennett of Britt:

“A very emotional moment to have that kind of solidarity from someone like Justin Britt, who’s a known leader in our locker room, who’s from a different part of America than me,” Bennett said. “But to be able to have that solidarity and to be able to have somebody who is behind me and know that it’s someone that I really trust, and to see him put everything on the line to support one of his teammates, I thought that was a very special moment.”

That’s basically what you see on the Eagles sidelines with Malcolm Jenkins and Chris Long, is it not? The difference is that Jenkins raises a fist while Bennett decides to sit down. That’s the same way Kaepernick’s protest began, though the ex-San Fran quarterback compromised and started taking a knee out of respect to veterans.

Bennett has raised the Jenkins fist before. He did it as a sack celebration in 2017:

https://twitter.com/popcornreel/status/909532317999235072

He also has a book coming out in April, titled Things That Make White People Uncomfortable:

I don’t think suburbanites at the Berwyn Barnes and Noble are gonna be hot for that book, but I’d probably read it.

Anyway, you know that the Eagles are a franchise that supports these kinds of expressions, and nothing that Jenkins or Long did last season affected play on the field or the culture inside the locker room. The Birds seemed like a tight-knit group who did not have any character issues bleed into the public spotlight or interfere with a SUPER BOWL VICTORY.

Sure, you had some right-wing stiffs who stopped watching the NFL because of the protests, and some left-wing stiffs who stopped watching the NFL because they thought Kaepernick was being blackballed. That, in my opinion, allowed moderate and rational America to just watch the games and study the protests without the partisan flapping.

Jenkins has notably done a ton of charity work, and even though that one writer in Philadelphia thinks he’s a “sellout,” you can’t dispute the community contributions Jenkins has made. Long, then, famously donated his entire 2017 salary to charity. So you can say what you want about both of those guys, but there’s substance there, not just demonstrative fluff.

To that point, Bennett started the eponymous “Bennett Foundation,” which puts forth this mission statement:

Our family started The Bennett Foundation to help prevent childhood obesity. By educating communities through free, accessible programming, we hope to provide kids and families with the knowledge and resources that will enable them to make good, healthy lifestyle choices.

It looks like he and his wife run the foundation with a managing and programs director. His brother, Martellus, isn’t listed on the website and doesn’t appear to be involved. Programs are centered around under-served communities in Hawaii, Washington, and Texas. The foundation donated over $86,000 in grants, according to their most recent tax filing, so it does legitimate work in the community.

I don’t know how his community work stacks up to that of guys like Malcolm Jenkins or Anquan Boldin or Chad Greenday, but it’s there. This isn’t just words and bluster.

Dirty deeds

As far as on-field incidents, this happened recently:

Bennett was not fined for that, but others were, to the tune of almost $85,000.

There’s also this:

And here’s an unnecessary late hit:

That’s stuff you don’t want to see from anybody, but it doesn’t appear to be too much of a theme with Bennett.

So that’s what I was able to find. You can cast judgment on Michael Bennett, the person, as you see fit.

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15 Responses

  1. Christmas came early for Mike Miss this year with this signing. I’m sure he was desperate to fill up dozens of shows with something else than sports and useless knowledge games.

  2. The cheapshots are bad and there are many more available to be posted. he dives at knees and acts like a baby when his team is losing, See Atlanta playoff game in January 2017 or the Superbowl the year before. He’s a typical I want to be acknowledged for what I do but only the good things. I hope he leaves his dirty plays in Seatlle and becomes a team guy, not me me me me me.

    His point with the Las Vegas police is overkill. There was a shooting, police grabbed people who ran. Hispanic police, black police & white police. Sitting in a police car for 7 minutes is not a big deal unless you are all about me me me me

  3. “I don’t think suburbanites at the Berwyn Barnes and Noble are gonna be hot for that book, but I’d probably read it.”

    Don’t need to read anything beyond this folks. It’s clear what kind of picture he’s trying to paint.

    Bennett is a piece of shit.

    1. well you missed the part where I mention how the far left is dumb and the far right (you) is also dumb

      1. “That’s stuff you don’t want to see from anybody, but it doesn’t appear to be too much of a theme with Bennett.”

        You really have your blinders up pal. Doesn’t appear to be too much of a theme???? So a theme must be at more than 20 late/dirty hits, right? of all the dirty/late hit videos you included in the post you reach the conclusion that it doesn’t appear to be too much of a theme? Are you kidding me? How many late/dirty hits do you think are acceptable to this franchise? With the videos included in the post how can you not label him a dirty player. He is messing with other players lively hood diving for knees, and eye gouging. I get if you want to slob on his knob for social justice, but you have to call a spade, spade, even if it tarnishes his movement.

  4. Just the fact that you felt compelled to write this tells me that this guy is going to be a distraction and a headache no matter what side of the fence you’re on politically. I’ve also read that he was a pain for his coaches to deal with and other teams fans’ are already rooting for him to destroy the Eagles’ excellent locker room chemistry. They picked up an aging head case at a position they don’t even have a need for and gave up a draft pick. DE is arguably their strongest position.

    I’m also not sure how you’re not seeing a theme. You just posted 3 examples of blatantly dirty play. If Jenkins is an example of how to advocate for a cause intelligently and prudently as a professional athlete, Bennett appears to be an example of how to further divide the aisle and set your own cause back by showing bad character on the field and making questionable decisions (laid out well by you here) off of it.

  5. really kinker?
    short stroking us with all this ‘charity’ work BS in hopes we won’t give a sh*t
    about his character issues?
    come on man you’re better than that.

  6. The foundation donated $86,000? WOW, that’s amazing!! That’s less than Long donated every week and Long contract probably 15% of Bennett’s. I really don’t care about the protests or really community support. But to be so vocal and give so little seems hypocritical… Additionally, this guy is a piece of shit.

  7. Funny, I live in Berwyn. The Barnes and Noble is actually in Wayne. Just saying. I really don’t care that much about his views one way or another. Everyone has 1st A rights and whatever. This team proved you can have activists who are also team leaders. I don’t see Bennett in this light as a leader since this team is already strong in that area. A 1 year rental with a team option. As for the LV incident, it is odd that the very officer in question did not have the body cam turned on. Also, he was detained, not arrested. That happens hundreds of times every day in this country. So, let’s just play football.

  8. Seriously? This guy is a total race baiting fraud and a flat out liar. He devides races. He doesn’t unite races. This article was garbage. Bennett is a disgrace of a human being. You obviously haven’t done enough research on this pos.

  9. There is no left and right on this issue, like any issues there are just opinions. Most people do not have any idea of how this movement came to be and on what statistics. It is a false narrative, base on skewed information reported by all media. There are more programs to help out minorities than ever, they have existed for decades. All other races in this country as a whole call out criminals of their own race. Only one minority has a criminal idolization of their own race as a very large sub-sect, around 30% look theirs in a positive light (this exists in all races but in a small sub-sect around a 1%).

    Bennett is a dirty player has a long history of this, his brother is a woman beating bad egg also. It’s not because they are black they are just substandard humans who happen to be black. Yes they can change but as of today they are not trying to be better.

    To the writer you are a true product of your generation: Quick to dismiss and very snarky while think your are in some moral high ground that exists only in your head.

    The flag they are kneeling to is of today’s generation. Not 1960’s. It’s offensive and I have the right to say this as I not only served but because of my service I became a DAV. There are others that served that have the opposite view and I respect that. When these players stop playing a childs game and serve with all races I will respect their opinion on the flag as well.

    Remember when a military member dies a flag is on that coffin because they served you. No matter the color of your skin they died for you. This group and a large majority of this country fails to understand because they are children pretending to be adults in my opinion.

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