The NFL will not open an internal investigation into the Michael Bennett incident with Las Vegas police, stating that there is no allegation of a violation of the league’s personal conduct policy warranting a review.
The Seattle Seahawks defensive star claimed he was a victim of police brutality while attending the recent boxing match between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor. Bennett elaborated on his experience in Las Vegas in a detailed statement posted on his Twitter account, claiming he was targeted by officers, forced to the ground, and handcuffed tightly enough to affect his breathing. The officers were in the midst of responding to gunshots heard in the streets and Bennett said he was “a black man in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
— Michael Bennett (@mosesbread72) September 6, 2017
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell issued a rather bland statement in response to Bennett’s statement, and the response from the league has not gone without skepticism and criticism. The Las Vegas Police Association wrote a letter to Goodell asking the league to open an investigation that they believed would dispute the information revealed by Benett in his statement. That request will not be granted by the league, according to a report from ESPN on Friday morning.
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy wrote in response, “There is no allegation of a violation of the league’s personal conduct policy and therefore there is no basis for an NFL investigation.”
Earlier, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith voiced a similar response, saying, “There are no grounds for the NFL to investigate our union rep, and I look forward to Roger confirming the same.”
The Las Vegas police union played its cards to defend the image of their police officers involved in the Michael Bennett situation, and the NFL didn’t bite. Simply put, the police union tried to get Bennett suspended. The NFL may be able to hand out discipline without legal ramifications being faced by players, but it apparently does not go the other way around.