Michael Bennett, the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles’ new pass rusher, is no stranger to controversy. Most Americans met him for the first time in 2017, when he was one of the faces of the NFL’s very public feud with President Trump.
Now he finds himself charged with a felony in Texas over an alleged incident that occurred over a year ago. Pure coincidence, we’re sure.
“A Harris County, Texas grand jury indicted Bennett for “injuring an elderly 66-year-old paraplegic who was working at Houston’s NRG Stadium to control access to the field at Super Bowl LI,” local KHOU news reported Friday.
Prosecutors charge that Bennett shoved his way through security to get on the field after the Super Bowl, and in the process injured the elderly disabled woman.
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Neither Bennett nor his agent has made a statement about the charges, but the Eagles tweeted only that they are “aware of the situation.”
“We are in the process of gathering more information. Because this is an ongoing legal matter, we will have no further comment at this time.”
Michael Bennett’s sister questions the curious timing of the allegations, coming as they do just days after he signed a lucrative contract with his new team. She also questions the merits of the accusations and claims to have evidence that exonerates her brother.
From Michael Bennett’s little sister: pic.twitter.com/4UWKkGAK2R
— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) March 23, 2018
In the fall of 2017, Bennett made headlines of a different sort when he was one of the most visible players participating in league-wide protests against the way President Trump responded to the White Supremacist violence in Charlottesville, Virginia in August.
In 2016, Colin Kaepernick popularized kneeling during the playing of the national anthem before games as a way to support to the Black Lives Matter movement, which sought to bring awareness to the unacceptably high number of Black men who were dying at alarmingly high rates during otherwise routine confrontations with law enforcement. A year later, after Charlottesville, hundreds of NFL players revived the practice, which infuriated the president.
“If NFL fans refuse to go to games until players stop disrespecting our Flag & Country, you will see change take place fast. Fire or suspend!” he tweeted on September 24th. Two days earlier, he riled up the crowd at an Alabama rally with similar aspersions at protesting NFL players.
On September 25th, Bennet appeared on CNN to defend his fellow athletes by tackling the president’s comments head-on. Asked his thoughts over Trump’s attacks, Bennett said:
“I thought, that shows America — that’s freedom to express what he believed in, he expressed what he believed in and that’s what it really about. What’s the difference between a guy kneeling for what he believes in and what he did standing up for what he believes in? We’re all saying the same thing.”
And now he’s been indicted on a dubious charge over an assault that allegedly occurred over a year ago. How about them apples?