NFL gets pushed in a into national debate on race from players

Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett’s troubling social media description of the “excessive use of force” he said he endured at the hands of officers from the Las Vegas Police Department last month is a fitting reminder that the nation and the National Football League have reached the same cultural crossroads at the same time.

This is about the continuing backlash that is occurring around the nation in the wake of the horrifying events in Charlottesville and President Trump’s dreadful response to white supremacism and neo-Nazism, and how that tragedy has become intertwined with the issues of race and protest that have been present on NFL sidelines for more than a year.

If Colin Kaepernick’s original national anthem protests were the launching pad for these issues, Bennett’s statement Wednesday that a Las Vegas police officer ordered him onto the ground and said if he moved “he would blow my (expletive) head off” might well have brought the matter to a boiling point just as the new NFL season approaches this week.

One wonders what might have been had Kaepernick, who quarterbacked the San Francisco 49ers to the Super Bowl five seasons ago, been signed by an NFL team in the offseason rather than deemed too controversial because of his protests.