Anti-American anthem protester Michael Bennett had a tumultuous season.
He disrespected the American flag for weeks, lied to the police during an incident in Las Vegas, and defied his coach while instigating a brawl.
Now Bennett could be receiving a comeuppance for his reckless behavior.
Michael Bennett has sullied his reputation with a string of irresponsible moves. Bennett was a finalist for the Walter Peyton NFL Man of the Year Award, but he now seems far removed from such an honor.
Despite being the son of a military veteran, Bennett thought it was prudent to kneel for the national anthem.
Bennett and other kneelers said the protest wasn’t against America or the anthem, yet Bennett stood for the anthem during Veteran’s Day weekend, which suggested he understood there was at least something disrespectful and unpatriotic about their actions.
Bennett ignored police warnings and fled the scene at a casino in Las Vegas when the cops were investigating a possible active shooter scenario. Bennett played the race card even though dozens of other black patrons were not pursued by the cops; Bennett was the only person to run.
Bennett also incited a brawl during a game with the Jacksonville Jaguars. As the Jaguars were attempting to end the game on kneel-downs, Bennett tried to force a fumble using a dangerous bum-rush maneuver that essentially never works. Coach Pete Carroll had instructed his players not to do the move, because it could lead to injury and/or confrontation with the other team.
Finally, Bennett was recently indicted for an altercation with an elderly stadium employee after last year’s Super Bowl. Bennett was formerly arraigned and posted bail.
Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Michael Bennett appeared in court in Texas on Monday to face charges stemming from an alleged confrontation with a paraplegic stadium employee at last year’s Super Bowl.
Bennett, 32, went before a judge in Houston and was officially booked and processed over the incident. Bail was set at $10,000.
Bennett’s lawyer, Rusty Hardin, told reporters gathered at the court that the player was innocent.
“When this is all over everyone will know Michael is not guilty,” Hardin said.
Bennett, who joined the Eagles from the Seattle Seahawks earlier this month, was last week accused of pushing a 66-year-old woman as he attempted to enter the field following the New England Patriots’ comeback win over the Atlanta Falcons.
Bennett’s younger brother, Martellus Bennett, was playing for the Patriots in the NFL showpiece at Houston’s NRG Stadium.
Bennett has been indicted by a grand jury on a felony charge of injury to the elderly.
Prosecutors say Bennett “shoved his way on to the field where players were gathering to celebrate” following the Patriots’ overtime win.
“NRG Security personnel, including the 66-year-old disabled victim, told Bennett he had to use a different entrance for field access,” the Harris County district attorney’s office said.
“Instead, he pushed through them, including the elderly woman who was part of the security team.”
The charges against Bennett carry a maximum penalty of up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Bennett featured prominently in protests by NFL players last year against social injustice, and repeatedly sat down during renditions of the US national anthem.
There seems to be a pattern forming with Bennett. He does whatever he wants, regardless of the consequences.
Regrettably, another pattern of Bennett’s behavior also seems to be emerging: playing the race card.
In a March 24 statement, his publisher wrote:
“Michael Bennett is being targeted for being a Black man who speaks out boldly against racism and police brutality.
The latest charges against Michael are clearly an effort by his political opponents — once again — to silence him. We will not let them succeed.”
“We stand in solidarity with Michael,” Haymarket Books concluded. “We stand strongly behind his new book, which we are extremely proud to publish, and we applaud him for his ongoing work in solidarity with all of those who are challenging the voices of exclusion, intolerance, and racism.”
Pushing an elderly black paraplegic woman doesn’t sound like someone “challenging the voices of exclusion, intolerance, and racism.”
It sounds like the exact opposite.