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Roger Goodell issues statement on Michael Bennett police incident

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on Wednesday night released a statement addressing an incident last month involving Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett and members of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. Goodell touted Bennett as a player who “represents the best of the NFL — a leader on his team and in his community” in the statement.

Bennett has accused Las Vegas police of “abusive conduct” and racial profiling in an Aug. 26 incident following the Conor McGregor-Floyd Mayweather Jr. bout as he fled a casino where gunshots were reported fired. The Seahawks star has since retained a prominent civil rights attorney and is considering a lawsuit.

Bennett claims he was forcibly restrained and that an officer pointed a gun at him while another put him in handcuffs.

Subsequent video obtained by TMZ documents the scene during the incident in question.

Las Vegas police on Wednesday denied race was a factor in the Bennett incident, as set forth by Kevin McMahill, the Undersheriff of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, during a news conference.

“I can tell you as I stand here today, I see no evidence of that,” McMahill said. “I see no evidence that race played any role in this incident.”

Goodell’s statement, posted by NFL vice president of communications Brian McCarthy, lends support to Bennett and “all NFL players in promoting mutual respect between law enforcement and the communities they loyally serve and fair and equal treatment under the law.

 

Many others have also weighed in on Bennett’s encounter with police, including Colin Kaepernick, who condemned what occurred as “disgusting and unjust” in a tweet.

The Bennett incident, to no surprise, became the talk of the NFL, just as the league prepares to kick-off the 2017 season at Gillette Stadium Thursday night with the New England Patriots-Kansas City Chiefs tilt. Goodell, who will attend the Thursday’s game, not surprisingly felt compelled to comment on such a major story. And he did so in a typically cautious and measured manner.

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