Back on September 7th I was the only person brave enough to point out something important — Michael Bennett was lying about most of the claims of racism he had levied against Las Vegas police. As the rest of the sports media fell all over themselves to condemn the Las Vegas police, I actually reviewed the evidence and pointed out that Bennett’s story didn’t add up.
And for that I was ridiculed and called racist by thousands online.
But, guess what, when I know I’m right, I don’t run from critics, I double and triple down.
The title of my piece didn’t tip toe up to my opinion either, it was straightforward and direct — Michael Bennett Is Lying.
Yesterday afternoon the Las Vegas police, after reviewing 193 different videos of that night, released a two minute video that proves their officers didn’t racially profile Bennett, didn’t use excessive force, and treated Bennett with respect throughout their interaction. (Bennett’s defenders, a tiny group compared to the people who initially believed him, are complaining because this video is edited, but that’s because it’s spliced together from multiple cameras to give a coherent picture of what transpired that night.)
Several things to note from this video:
1. Michael Bennett looks incredibly suspicious crouching and running when the police are looking for an active shooter.
Police had a reasonable suspicion to stop and detain him.
Remember, the police are responding to an active shooter. What would a shooter likely do? Hide from police and then run from them when he saw them approach him.
Which is exactly what Bennett did.
Why is Bennett crouching like that and then running to hide behind a slot machine? And when the officers take note of his strange behavior and approach him why does he leap up and take off at a full sprint and refuse to listen to officer commands to stop?
Bennett’s defense would likely be that was just scared — and that’s certainly not unreasonable when everyone believed there was an active shooter — but isn’t it also totally reasonable that officers would notice Bennett and believe he may have been involved in the shooting based on his behavior?
Indeed, the officer actually explains this to Michael Bennett and Bennett even says he understands how his behavior would have looked to the officers. They then take his cuffs off — the entire time in the police car was seven minutes according to Vegas police — and are prepared to let him go. This is, notably, all before the police have any idea Bennett’s a famous football player. That is, contrary to Bennett’s allegations of racism, the police are treating him with respect and consideration long before they know who he is.
They explain exactly why they detained him, explain why they were suspicious of his behavior and then, and this is maybe the most amazing part of this entire story — THEY LET HIM GO AFTER HE IDENTIFIES HIMSELF AS AN NFL PLAYER EVEN THOUGH HE HAS NO ID ON HIM.
“No, man, my name is Michael Bennett, Seattle Seahawks, look it up,” Bennett says when asked for ID.
He told the cops to look him up on their phones!
And the cops looked him up on Google images and let him go based on that ID.
Talk about privilege!
This dude is out in Las Vegas without an ID — how is that even possible? It’s not like he’s a girl in a cocktail dress and heels, he can’t carry a driver’s license with him in his jean pocket?! — and he gets released from police custody by telling the police — after running from them and refusing to listen to their commands — that he plays in the NFL and to look it up on their phones.
Get out of here!
Michael Bennett is a huge beneficiary of NFL athlete privilege.
How many people do you think get let go by police when they don’t have ID and have been stopped for suspicious behavior after having them look him up on Google?
Here’s the kicker — Bennett then shook hands with police and told them he understood exactly what they had done!
He shook hands with them!
Two weeks later he lies and calls these same cops all racists in a story that immediately goes viral.
2. Race played no part in this story at all.
Bennett alleged that racist police stopped him because he was black.
That’s a flat out lie.
The entire casino is filled with black people.
Watch this video of the officers initially responding to reports of a shooting in the casino.
It is laughably absurd to suggest that the police picked Bennett out because of racism. If so, why didn’t they also detain the hundreds of black people in the exact same casino at that exact same time? Bennett was detained for a simple reason, because he behaved suspiciously and police believed he might be involved in an alleged shooting.
Remember, these videos were recorded before the police knew Bennett was famous and before they knew he was going to accuse them of racism, the police story has been the same throughout the entire incident.
The race of the officers shouldn’t matter here, by the way, but they were all three minorities — two Hispanics and a black guy. Bennett’s claim is laughably absurd in this context as well. He is alleging that three minority police officers responded to reports of a casino shooting, ignored hundreds of black people leaving the casino, and then decided to detain him because he was black for no reason at all.
Seriously, that’s his story.
And the sports media bought it hook, line and sinker.
3. There is no excessive force used and no one threatened to blow Bennett’s head off.
There is zero evidence of that from the 193 different videos reviewed in this incident.
In fact, the Las Vegas police have offered to make all that video available to Bennett’s attorneys for them to review and guess what? Bennett’s attorneys haven’t responded to those offers.
Because they likely know Bennett is lying.
Now go back and read Bennett’s initial Tweet alleging racism and police misconduct. It has been shared or liked over 600k times.
— Michael Bennett (@mosesbread72) September 6, 2017
This is a very important story and not just because Outkick got it right and virtually everyone else in sports media got it wrong. It’s a very important story because we need to ask why did I get this right and virtually everyone else in sports media got it wrong?
It’s because I looked at the actual evidence.
This is what I do with every single case I review. While everyone else is covering the story they want to be true, I cover the story as it actually is. Whether it’s with the Mizzou protests, Peyton Manning’s mooning incident, or the Ryan Lochte case in Brazil, this is now the fourth time that Outkick has been 100% right and the “mainstream” media has been 100% wrong about a story.
The Lochte case is particularly fascinating here. Because the same people who didn’t believe Lochte all believed Bennett. Why? Because they wanted Lochte, a white man, to be lying and have received white privilege and Bennett, a black man, to be telling the truth and have been treated unfairly based on his race.
That led the sports media — and many people in the country as well — to extreme logical leaps.
Think about it, the people who believed Lochte was lying took the word of a Brazilian security guard over an American Olympian and the people who believed Bennett took the word of a black man over video evidence and the word of minority American police officers.
What’s more, Lochte lost millions of dollars in sponsorships and was suspended from swimming for over a year EVEN THOUGH HIS STORY WAS TRUE. Will anything at all happen to Bennett for lying and being caught in that lie? I bet not. That sounds an awful lot like #blackprivilege to me.
This should be an important lesson for everyone — cover the story as it is, not as you hope it is based on your world view.
Can cops be racist and are minorities sometimes innocent victims of that racism?
But just because that sometimes happens doesn’t mean that it definitely happened in this particular case.
I had a law professor who drilled this into me years ago. He said the three most important parts of any legal issue were: the facts, the facts, and the facts.
Here the facts never supported Bennett’s allegations.
It never made sense that police responding to reports of an active police shooting decided to detain a random black guy because they were racist instead of investigating an active shooter. The idea should have been immediately laughable to anyone who used their brains and waited for the full evidence to be released.
Instead, the sports media lionized Bennett for his bravery, accepted his story without challenging any elements of it, and helped to ensure that Bennett’s lies were shared over 600k times on social media.
Read that statement again now that all the evidence is out.
— Michael Bennett (@mosesbread72) September 6, 2017
The entire thing is a lie.
If the NFL had any decency they would suspend Bennett for these false claims which actually lead to worse relationships between minorities and police, destroying Bennett’s alleged goal of equality. At an absolute minimum Bennett, the Seahawks and the NFL should all apologize to the Las Vegas police for the false accusations they made and endorsed.
Bennett could easily release this statement: “Now that I have have reviewed the evidence it is clear my recollection of events is not correct. It was a traumatic experience and individuals involved in traumatic experiences frequently make mistakes when they share their recollections. While I maintain that America is a long way from equality and believe police and minority relationships can and need to be be much improved, I was not treated improperly by the Las Vegas police. I apologize for my statements to the contrary and hope we can work together in the future to make the community safer for Americans of all races, genders and creeds.”
If he did that I would actually have respect for Bennett.
We all make mistakes, especially when we have books to sell about racism and want to justify our pointless protests.
But it’s not just Bennett who should apologize.
All the sports media companies and individuals who propagated Bennett’s lies should apologize as well and embark on an examination of their coverage errors to ensure that these same mistakes aren’t made in the future as well. But you and I both know that won’t happen. Bennett’s story being proven a lie will receive a fraction of the coverage that Bennett’s initial lies received and the next time a story like this happens the same thing will happen all over again.
The American sports media accepted Bennett’s claims for two reasons: 1. Because the sports media is predominantly liberal and they wanted these claims to be true. There’s a huge percentage of the sports media that believes cops are all awful and racist and they wanted this story to be true for that reason and 2. Because Michael Bennett is black and if you say you don’t believe a black person you get accused of being racist.
And most white people in sports media fear being called racist more than they fear being wrong. After all, you can get fired for being racist, you don’t get fired for being wrong.
Also, news flash, believing someone is telling the truth because of their race is just as racist as believing someone is not telling the truth because of their race.
I never would have believed that Outkick was going to end up being the most trusted source in sports media.
But, guess what, here we are again — proven 100% right while all of our critics are 100% wrong.
If you value the truth, welcome to Outkick and thanks for your support.