We Don’t Know What’s in Michael Bennett’s Heart; How Can He Know What’s in a Cop’s Heart?


“Michael Bennett seems a better person than to be accusing a fellow human being of racism without investigation.”

Full disclosure: I was born and raised in New England, I’m a Patriots fan. Still, I’ve been living in the Seattle area for a few decades. I served in the city as a cop for more than two of them — I also have affection for the Seahawks. The Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl XLVIII parade was the best event I worked in my career. And even as a Pat’s fan, I still chuckle when I see the Super Bowl XLIX clip where Tom Brady, after being demolished by Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett, clapped his hands while saying, “Nice hit, seventy-two.”

Michael Bennett is famous for crushing NFL quarterbacks, but recently he has become infamous for taking a knee during the national anthem. Now he’s in the spotlight for another reason: on August 27th, following the Mayweather-McGregor fight in Las Vegas, Bennett became precisely the sort of victim of racist police he says caused him to protest his country at his workplace.

As if from a pamphlet written by a defense attorney specifically for defendants who claim police had racist motives for an arrest, the 6’ 4”, 274 pound, Bennett said all the right things. No, really, his complaints read like a racist arrest checklist: I ran because I feared the police, the police singled me out, the cop jammed a knee in my back, so I could barely breathe, the cop said if I moved, hed blow my f#$king head off, the handcuffs were so tight they made my fingers numb, and, finally,  I feared for my life. All this from one of the toughest football players in the NFL.

As a police officer, I heard these complaints more times than I care to recall during arrests. I’m not saying Bennett doesn’t believe these things happened to him. I don’t know his mind or heart. But, in today’s anti-police state, why wouldn’t he believe the police are racist? He’s demonstrated by his protests and words he’s open to the message peddled by what Taleeb Starkes, in his book Black Lives Lies Matter, refers to as the Race Grievance Industry (RGI).

Bennett seems to feel he lives under the oppression of a racist society where people like him have no chance of ever… becoming… successful… in… America. Oh, wait. Isn’t Michael Bennett an immensely successful, wealthy man with millions of admiring fans—of all races—who proudly wears #72? How could that happen in a racist country? Because he took advantage of opportunities he would have had nowhere else on earth and used his remarkable talent to earn his success.

Setting the scene, on August 27th, Michael Bennet was heading out of a casino after the Mayweather-McGregor fight in Las Vegas when people heard what they thought was a gunshot. According to reports, people scattered, and Bennett hid behind a slot machine. When he saw a police officer, who’d responded to a report of a possible active shooter, to protect people like Bennett, the football star ran out of the casino. Officers chased, handcuffed, and detained Bennett for investigation, after which he was released.

Bennett claims cops “singled him out.” Put yourself in that police officer’s shiny, black shoes. You’ve responded to a shots fired incident with a possible active shooter. You have no idea what the shooter looks like. There’s only been what sounded like a gunshot. You can only observe the frightened crowd for suspicious behaviors while trying not to get shot like your five fellow police officers did in Dallas last year. You observe a man hiding behind a slot machine, and when that man sees you, he runs away. What would you think? If he were the shooter, and you didn’t chase him, I suppose they’d condemned you for that, too. Welcome to a cop’s world.

Now, I wasn’t in that casino; I know a little of what happened by way of news reports and a brief TMZ video of the handcuffing. I don’t know if others were also hiding, but was Bennett the only one who looked at that cop and then ran. I dont know. However, Mr. Bennett, with no evidence the Hispanic officers are racists, claims to know this evil was in their hearts when they detained him.

I admit I don’t know what was in Bennett’s mind or heart. How could I possibly know? So, Mr. Bennett, how can you know what was in those officers’ minds and hearts when they detained you? Is it because you have been taught and encouraged to “know” what other people are thinking when it comes to race?

The modern NAACP, Black Lives Matter, and Antifa, and people like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson shove a message down minorities’ throats: America is an immoral country that has never atoned for its racist past and continues to be plagued by institutional racism which is excuse for people to not to obey lawful police orders. So how can we blame people like Michael Bennett for “fearing the police?” At least he followed police instructions.

When was the last time Bennett benefitted from a balanced perspective? When was the last time a leader he admires encouraged him to read black conservative scholars or listen to black Republican and libertarian pundits who have a more favorable opinion of America, those who believe their country is essentially good?

Has Bennett ever read or listened to Shelby Steele, Thomas Sowell, or Jason Reilly; Allen West, Clarence Thomas, or Kevin Jackson; Angela McGlowan, Alveda King, or Ben Carson; Taleeb Starkes, Mia Love, or Tim Scott; Star Parker, Niger Innis, or Larry Elder? How can anyone make an informed decision without diverse information?

Why did I take the time to list all these incredible people? And this list is nowhere near exhaustive. Because black conservatives need to be in the national consciousness to counter the left’s goal of controllable group-think. The right hears from black liberals and Democrats because they’re featured in the ubiquitous mainstream news media. The right also listens to conservative talk radio and watches news outlets that include both black liberal and conservative views. They get a balanced view.

Conversely, the left rarely hears from black conservatives, libertarians, and Republicans because most of the national news media rarely feature them. Folks on the left aren’t as likely to get the same balanced perspective. The last thing the leftists want is for American minorities to hear another side on issues because then they’d have to engage in critical thinking. That’s why the left is working so diligently to shut down opposing speech.

I suppose one reason I’m so disappointed is because I’ve been a Michael Bennett fan. I’m also a fan of his brother, another great NFL player, Green Bay Packer, and former Patriot, Martellus Bennett. It always hurts more when someone you like takes such a stand against something you feel strongly about.

Michael Bennett seems a better person than to be accusing a fellow human being of racism without investigation. I’m sure Michael Bennett considers himself a fair man — he seems like a good man. But, does this good man’s accusation seem fair? Or does it seem to fit, perfectly, the leftist narrative that America and its cops are racist?

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
Steve Pomper

Steve Pomper is an OpsLens contributor, a retired Seattle police officer, and the author of four non-fiction books, including De-Policing America: A Street Cop’s View of the Anti-Police State. You can read a review of this new book in Front Page Magazine and listen to an interview with Steve on the Joe Pags Show. Steve was a field-training officer, on the East Precinct Community Police Team, and served his entire career on the streets. He has a BA in English Language and Literature. He enjoys spending time with his kids and grand-kids. He loves to ride his Harley, hike, and cycle with his wife, Jody, a retired firefighter. You can find out more about Steve and send him comments and questions at www.stevepomper.com.

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