Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett has been one of the NFL stars embracing protests of social inequality during the national anthem. While he’s received plenty of criticism from people who don’t believe the problems people of color face actually exist, his experience in Las Vegas last Sunday following Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s victory over Conor McGregor only confirms that the national anthem protests address very serious and real problems in America.

Bennett shared on Twitter that he was an innocent victim of police brutality as officers targeted and assaulted him following the fight. After hearing gun shots, he and many other people on the street had a natural reaction — run away. Bennett called himself “a black man in the wrong place as the wrong time.” Las Vegas cops forced him to the ground, handcuffed him “so tight that my fingers went numb” and made it difficult for him to breathe while threatening to “blow my fucking head off.”

The officers finally released him when they confirmed his identity as a professional football player.

Bennett previously said he was on the fence about protesting during the national anthem before violent protests by white supremacists and Neo-Nazis broke out in Charlottesville, Virginia. The footage of those demonstrations hit hard, and now Bennett has an even more personal reason to continue his fight for justice.

About Jesse Kramer

Jesse is a writer and editor for The Comeback. He has also worked for SI.com and runs The Catch and Shoot, a college basketball website based in Chicago. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Follow Jesse on Twitter @Jesse_Kramer.