NFL star Michael Bennett says ‘the system failed me’ after he survives cop attack

first_imgMichael BennettMichael Bennett is a six-foot-four, 270-plus-pound, 31-year-old defensive end for the National Football League’s Seattle Seahawks.  He has been selected to the Pro-Bowl twice and is a Super Bowl champion.Bennett is also an African-American and socially conscious athlete who has been very outspoken against racist injustice, especially police brutality, and for gender equality, Palestinian and Indigenous rights.  Bennett not only talks the talk but also walks the walk.He has been highly vocal in defending former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, sitting by himself during the national anthem in 2017 preseason games.Bennett recently organized a fundraiser and rally for the family of Charleena Lyles, an African-American mother of three, fatally shot seven times by Seattle police earlier this year. Lyles was four-months pregnant at the time of her murder.Most recently, Bennett became a direct survivor of police brutality.After a much ballyhooed fight between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor in Las Vegas on Aug. 26, Bennett, who attended the fight, was thrown to the ground, kneed in the back and handcuffed by two Las Vegas police officers. Video footage shows a gun pointed at his head by one of the cops threatening to arrest him. ( is heard asking what he had done to warrant such treatment. In a “Dear World” Twitter letter disclosing the incident, Bennett stated that the police officer threatened to “blow off his fucking head” if Bennett moved. Several hundred people, including Bennett, had run for cover when gunshots were thought to be heard nearby, but no shots had been fired. Only when the police discovered Bennett’s identity was he released.Bennett and his lawyer, John Burris, a civil rights attorney who represented the family of Oscar Grant, a young Black man murdered by a Bay Area Rapid Transit cop on New Year’s Day 2009, have demanded the release of the two arresting officers’ names and of all related video footage. Both Bennett and Burris announced plans to file a civil rights violation lawsuit and to demand an independent investigation of the Las Vegas police.Bennett, Kaepernick: More than just football playersWhen Bennett announced the incident on Sept. 6, Kaepernick responded: “This violation that happened against my Brother Michael Bennett is disgusting and unjust. I stand with Michael and I stand with the people.”  (Twitter)Kaepernick is viewed by many as a modern-day Muhammad Ali, for protesting racist police violence by kneeling during the national anthem for the entire 2016 NFL season. His action sparked many athletes from diverse sports — amateur and professional, regardless of age, gender and gender expression — to do the same.No NFL team has yet signed Kaepernick since he opted out of his contract with the 49ers. This whiteballing of Kaepernick by NFL owners has generated calls to boycott the 2017 season.Seahawks’ coach Pete Carroll and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell have expressed support for Bennett, but have not connected Kaepernick and Bennett’s actions. This is not the case for the Las Vegas police.In their public letter addressed to the NFL, the Las Vegas Police Protective Association Metro Inc., stated: “While the NFL may condone Bennett’s disrespect for our American Flag, and everything it symbolizes, we hope the League will not ignore Bennett’s false accusations against our police officers.” Steve Grammas, president of the association, underlined the cops’ right-wing attack by demanding the NFL “investigate” Bennett. Goodell stated no investigation would take place.Bennett said in his Twitter letter: “Las Vegas police officers singled me out and pointed their guns at me for doing nothing more than being a Black man in the wrong place at the wrong time. … I have always held a strong conviction that protesting or standing up for justice is simply the right thing to do. This fact is unequivocally, without question, why before every game I sit during the national anthem — because equality does not live in this country and no matter how much money you make, what job title you have, and how much you give, when you are seen as a ‘n—-er’, you will be treated that way. The system failed me. I can only imagine what Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice and Charleena Lyles felt.”In a press conference, Undersheriff Kevin McMahill stated that “race was not a factor” in targeting Bennett because the two arresting officers were “Hispanic.” Teresa Gutierrez, a long-time Latinx national leader of Workers World Party, commented: “For this cop to play the race card is disgusting and nothing new. Once a person puts on a police uniform, no matter their nationality, they are trained to racially profile people of color and occupy their communities. This kind of racist dehumanization can be traced back to the days of slavery, the legacy of which lives on today. We are in an ongoing struggle against all forms of white supremacy.”Build Black & Brown unityGutierrez went on to say: “The racist targeting of immigrants by ICE and the Border Patrol, who are the police on a federal level, cannot be separated from how Black people are treated. Migrants, be they documented or undocumented, are constantly being threatened with raids and deportations.  This repression has deepened with Trump’s repeal of the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals, which targets at least 800,000 young people, born to undocumented parents in the U.S., with deportation.“There is a police war against Black and Brown people — and that lays the basis for building Black and Brown unity. I know I speak for millions of immigrants in expressing my total solidarity with political Black athletes like Michael Bennett and Colin Kaepernick, who are risking their livelihoods and even their lives by tackling racism.”When the Seattle Seahawks and the Green Bay Packers met at the Sept. 10 season opener, Michael Bennett continued to sit during the national anthem, while his brother, Martellus Bennett, a Packer player, raised his fist.When Martellus heard about the Las Vegas incident, he said to Michael on Instagram: “The emotion and the thought of almost losing you because of the way you look left me in one of the saddest places ever. I’m sad that you have to share this type of experience with the world but at the same time I’m happy that … you lived to talk about it because we all know you’re going to talk about it. The conversation is growing and I’m glad your voice is one of the ones being heard.”Michael Bennett Sr. remarked that his son’s experience brought back the painful talk almost all Black parents are forced to give their sons on reacting very cautiously when stopped by the police. He emphasized this is why Kaepernick and his son Michael Jr. are so outspoken.“When you don’t have to give your speech to your 16-year-old African- American son or your 15-year-old Hispanic son, when you no longer have to give that speech so that they can survive, we’ll know we’ve finally come a long way as a society. That’s why they’re kneeling.” (Sports Illustrated, Sept. 6)This incident and the Las Vegas police response emphasize once again that when conscious athletes speak out and take a bold action against racist oppression, their voices resonate throughout all sectors of society.Kaepernick and Bennett forcefully counter the reactionary argument that athletes should just shut up and play ball.last_img read more

Dissident exile stops blogging because family in Vietnam is being hounded

first_img China: Political commentator sentenced to eight months in prison Receive email alerts In December 2018, RSF published the findings of its investigation into the methods used by Vietnam to get Facebook to block the posts of exile bloggers such as Hieu on the grounds ofviolations of its “community standards.” Two other Vietnamese bloggers living in Germany, Trung Khoa Le and Nguyen Van Dai, were the among the targets of this systematic censorship. Follow the news on Asia – Pacific Excerpt from an interview Bui Thanh Hieu gave to RSF in 2013 about fellow blogger Dieu Cay’s health and situation in jail (photo: RSF). to go further Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is dismayed to learn that Bui Thanh Hieu, a well-known Vietnamese blogger living in exile in Germany, is having to censor himself because of his government’s disgraceful harassment of his family still in Vietnam. June 2, 2021 Find out more He explains in the post that he has decided to stop blogging because the Vietnamese authorities have been harassing his relatives still in Vietnam, including his 86-year-old mother who is currently hospitalized. June 2, 2021 Find out more June 7, 2021 Find out more Bui Thanh Hieu, who uses the blog name of Nguoi Buon Gio (Wind Trader), has announced in a moving Facebook post: “I beg your understanding for having to say farewell to you for a long time. Farewell, my friends.” Help by sharing this information News Organisation center_img News “It is absolutely despicable that the Vietnamese security apparatus is exploiting the poor health of individuals in order to silence a dissident living abroad,” said Daniel Bastard, the head of RSF’s Asia-Pacific desk. News “Many people took advantage of my mother, [using her] to force me to comply with their wishes, they want to turn me into a pawn under their control,” Hieu writes. “This situation just happened in the last few days.” RSF_en Mongolia : RSF urges presidential candidates to voice support for press freedom March 2, 2020 Dissident exile stops blogging because family in Vietnam is being hounded VietnamGermanyAsia – PacificEurope – Central Asia Condemning abusesOnline freedomsMedia independence InternetCitizen-journalistsFreedom of expressionExiled media Pakistani TV anchor censored after denouncing violence against journalists VietnamGermanyAsia – PacificEurope – Central Asia Condemning abusesOnline freedomsMedia independence InternetCitizen-journalistsFreedom of expressionExiled media News Long near the bottom of RSF’s World Press Freedom Index, Vietnam is ranked 176th out of 180 countries in the 2019 Index. “The authorities are displaying appalling creativity in their attempts to gag those who try to provide their fellow citizens with alternative information to the Vietnamese Communist Party’s propaganda. We urge foreign diplomats based in Hanoi, above all the German embassy, to closely monitor the harassment of Bui Thanh Hieu’s family.”last_img read more

Love thy neighbour or opposites attract? Patterns of spatial segregation and association among crested penguin populations during winter

first_imgCompetition for food among populations of closely related species and conspecifics that occur in both sympatry and parapatry can be reduced by interspecific and intraspecific spatial segregation. According to predictions of niche partitioning, segregation is expected to occur at habitat boundaries among congeners and within habitats among conspecifics, while negative relationships in the density of species or populations will occur in areas of overlap. We tested these predictions by modelling the winter distributions of two crested penguin species from three colonies in the south-western Atlantic. Penguins were tracked from two large colonies on the Falkland Islands and one in South Georgia, from where they dispersed through the South Atlantic, Southern Ocean and south-eastern Pacific. Forty macaroni penguins (Eudyptes chrysolophus) from South Georgia and 82 southern rockhopper penguins (Eudyptes chrysocome chrysocome) from two colonies in the Falkland Islands were equipped with global location sensors which log time and light, allowing positions to be estimated twice-daily, from April to August in 2011. Positions were gridded and converted into maps of penguin density. Metrics of overlap were calculated and density was related to remote-sensed oceanographic variables and competitor density using generalized additive models. Macaroni penguins from western South Georgia and southern rockhopper penguins from Steeple Jason Island, Falkland Islands, were spatially segregated by differences in their habitat preferences thus supporting our first prediction regarding interspecific segregation. However, southern rockhopper penguins from Beauchêne Island showed a marked spatial overlap with macaroni penguins as the two had similar habitat preferences and strong mutual associations when controlling for habitat. Contrary to our predictions relating to intraspecific segregation, southern rockhopper penguins from Beauchêne Island and Steeple Jason Island were segregated by differences in habitat selection. Morphological differentiation probably allows macaroni penguins from South Georgia and southern rockhopper penguins from Beauchêne Island to coexist in areas of spatial overlap, whereas segregation of the two Falkland rockhopper penguin populations may have arisen from two distinct lineages retaining cultural fidelity to ancestral wintering areas.last_img read more

JJ Food Service launches foodservice credit card

first_imgNational wholesaler JJ Food Service has launched a credit card.Described by the business as a first for the UK foodservice industry, the card has an upper limit of £25,000 and up to 37 days’ interest-free credit, which JJ Food Service said would help to support caterers’ cash flow.“We understand how hard it can be for independent caterers to manage cash flow,” said JJ Food Service CEO Mustafa Kiamil. “The Mastercard can be used to pay for anything from petrol and utilities to food and drink supplies. We invite all our customer to apply for the card.”Opening a trade account can be difficult if you have minimal trading history, added the company’s group general manager Terry Larkin.“That’s why the online application process considers many other unique factors,” he said, adding that 90% of customers would get a decision within 30 seconds of completing the online form.“It’s just one of the many ways we are supporting the independent sector,” added Larkin.Customers can add the card onto their online account or use it in-store. The interest is 0% if the account is paid in full each month and there are no annual or monthly fees.last_img read more

5 takeaways from John Wildhack’s press conference on ACC’s plan

first_img Published on July 30, 2020 at 5:12 pm Contact Danny: [email protected] | @DannyEmerman Comments The Daily Orange is a nonprofit newsroom that receives no funding from Syracuse University. Consider donating today to support our mission.The Atlantic Coast Conference’s guidelines for fall sports are a “path to play,” Syracuse Director of Athletics John Wildhack said at a virtual press conference Thursday.Under the guidelines, released Wednesday, ACC football teams will play 10 conference opponents and one non-conference opponent. For Syracuse, that means a tougher schedule with an added road game at Notre Dame. “But I told (SU head coach Dino Babers) if you’re ever gonna play a road schedule like that, 2020’s the year to do it, because nobody’s gonna have a full stadium,” Wildhack said.From discussions on the potential for fans in the Carrier Dome to the ability of SU athletes to use their platforms to address social issues, here are five takeaways from Wildhack’s conference:AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSo far, no opt-outsVirginia Tech’s Caleb Farley on Wednesday became the first high-profile player to opt-out of the 2020 season due to health concerns. As of now, no Syracuse student-athlete has done the same, Wildhack said. Anyone who decides not to play will have their scholarship honored. “Our student athletes, they want to play. They want to compete,” he said. “We were very clear with all of our student athletes and our head coaches, with their families, their parents: If anybody felt uncomfortable coming back, they didn’t have to come back.” Sports with no in-person instruction ‘undetermined’If more than 100 students at once test positive for the coronavirus during the fall semester, Syracuse will pause in-person classes and institute a shelter in place order. The pause is the third of the university’s five-level shutdown plan. Whether sports will continue if SU reaches that 100-case threshold is undetermined, Wildhack said. SU Athletics will make a decision on the safety of sports in concert with university officials and campus and community health experts.“The primary goal is the health and safety of everyone and if we don’t feel comfortable, if we’re told it’s not the appropriate environment to play or to practice, then we won’t,” Wildhack said.There also isn’t a set number of cases that would shut down football training camp, which begins as soon as Aug. 6. Similarly, SU would work with experts to determine the severity of a potential outbreak. Life (with or) without LibertyTo fill its one non-conference game, the Orange’s “first option” is Liberty University, Wildhack said. The two programs are in their third year of a four-year contract, one that Wildhack previously said SU has no plans to renew.Western Michigan, another scheduled non-conference opponent planning to play football this fall, is another contender for the spot. Syracuse was supposed to travel to Kalamazoo in 2020 and host WMU in 2023. These games may get flipped, since Syracuse would have to host the Broncos this year to follow the ACC’s guidelines. With the pre-existing contracts, Liberty and Western Michigan are the clear favorites to play the Orange’s lone non-conference game. However, Wildhack said he’s fielded calls from other programs interested in coming to central New York.“We’re not gonna have an issue filling that plus-one,” he said. Fragility of a fall seasonEarlier this week, Rutgers had to quarantine its football program after 15 players tested positive. The outbreak is reportedly linked to an on-campus party. Wildhack sent a link to the story to all of Syracuse’s coaches, reminding them that to have a season, everyone needs to be diligent in following protocols. To further prevent potential outbreaks, teams will limit traveling parties to only essential personnel, Wildhack said. He wants traveling teams to try to make as close to a bubble atmosphere as possible, limiting contact to transportation, hotels and the site of contests.“I told them yesterday, I said I think we need to quarantine everybody in the hotel,” Wildhack said. “If you get to the hotel, you stay at the hotel. Period. I think we need to be that specific and stringent.”Showing supportThe NCAA announced Thursday that it will allow athletes to show support for social justice issues by wearing patches. Professional athletes in many sports have used their platforms to bring awareness to issues such as systemic racism, most notably by kneeling during the National Anthem.Earlier this month, Syracuse hired Salatha Willis as associate athletic director for diversity, culture and climate. Willis has helped facilitate team meetings and discussions with coaches on how to handle promoting their beliefs. Wildhack said those discussions have been productive, and he’s thankful for the thoughtfulness of SU’s student-athletes. He expects to see in-game activism in college sports. “As we sit here in 2020 and we support one another, part of supporting one another is no tolerance for racism,” Wildhack said. “No tolerance for systemic racism. My personal opinion is, I think appropriate recognition, that type of thing, we’re open to that. But we want our student-athletes to come back with their thoughts.” Other notes Moving the football season to the spring would be a last resort, Wildhack said. But if key metrics of COVID-19 don’t look better in two months, and “that became our only option, then we’d look at it,” he said. As of now, New York state prohibits colleges from allowing fans inside stadiums for sporting events. However, Wildhack is hopeful that changes in the fall and is working on preparing models for possible seating arrangements and precautions. When asked about potentially adopting a one-division conference schedule permanently, Wildhack said there’s been no such discussions. However, he’s frustrated by the current model because of how infrequently some Atlantic teams play some Coastal teams. center_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Same ending: Steelers stun Bengals 28-21 on AB’s late TD

first_imgPittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) runs for a touchdown in the second half of an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers) SHOCKING NUMBERSThe Steelers are 16-2 at Paul Brown Stadium during Marvin Lewis’ 16 seasons as the Bengals’ head coach, including playoff victories in 2005 and 2015. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin is 20-5 against the Bengals. Andy Dalton is 3-12 against the Steelers, missing that 2015 playoff meltdown with a broken thumb.CONNER’S HISTORYJames Conner ran for 111 yards and a pair of touchdowns, his second straight 100-yard game. Conner joined Hall of Famers Franco Harris (1976) and Jerome Bettis (2004) as the only Steelers to run for seven touchdowns in the first six games of a season, excelling as Le’Veon Bell’s replacement. Bell reportedly will end his holdout this week during Pittsburgh’s bye.“What a great game,” Roethlisberger said. “Now I know it’s his last game for us, so we’re glad he did well in his last one.”Roethlisberger laughed, clarifying that he was going entirely off media reports and speculation about what happens when Bell returns.BLITZBURGHAfter getting shredded in September, the Steelers’ defense has come around in the last two games. It got six sacks in a 41-17 win over the Falcons and sacked Dalton three times. Pittsburgh limited the Bengals to 123 yards in the second half.BURFICT REPRISEIn his second game back from his latest NFL suspension, Burfict was at the center of the riled-up rivalry. He exchanged words with Roethlisberger 3 minutes into the game. A teammate pushed him away from Conner to help the linebacker avoid a penalty after a touchdown run. In the third quarter, Burfict hit Brown in the head as he was being tackled, but avoided a penalty. The NFL will review the play. In the locker room after the game, Burfict yelled at a reporter who asked another Bengals player about the hit on Brown.“A nasty hit,” Brown said.___More AP NFL: and CINCINNATI (AP) — Joe Mixon scored on a 4-yard run and dashed toward the stands in celebration of Cincinnati’s go-ahead touchdown. On the Steelers sideline, Ben Roethlisberger looked at the clock, saw there was 1:18 left, and told his linemen not to fret.“They gave us too much time,” Big Ben said confidently.Somehow, the Steelers never run out of time at Paul Brown Stadium.Antonio Brown turned a short catch into a 31-yard touchdown with 10 seconds left Sunday, sending the Steelers to a 28-21 victory over the Bengals. They’ve now won seven straight against Cincinnati, a streak that includes highly improbable — and totally predictable — wins.The Steelers (3-2-1) sure saw it coming.“On the sideline before I went out, I told the guys, ‘This is what legacies are made of for all of us. Let’s go take care of business,’” Roethlisberger said.On the decisive play, Roethlisberger saw the Bengals (4-2) were set for an all-out blitz with no safeties guarding the end zone. He knew it would be a touchdown if he got the ball quickly to Brown, who caught it in stride, cut behind Justin Hunter’s block and ran untouched to the end zone.“We’ve been in that situation a lot, and I knew we were going to do it,” said Brown, who had five catches for 105 yards.During their seven-game winning streak, the Steelers have pulled them out at Paul Brown Stadium with 14 seconds, no seconds, and 10 seconds to go.Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon (28) celebrates his touchdown in the second half of an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)They rallied to win a first-round playoff game in 2015 — aided by Vontaze Burfict hitting Brown in the head for a costly penalty — on Chris Boswell’s field goal with 14 seconds left. Last December, they overcame a 17-point deficit and won on Boswell’s field goal as time ran out.Now, this stunner.“We’re better than them,” Bengals cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick insisted. “They’re not better than us.”The statistics say otherwise. The Steelers have won 10 of 11 and 15 of 18 in the lopsided series.Some takeaways from Paul Brown Stadium:IT’S A RACEThe Bengals got an early cushion in the division by knocking off the Ravens and opening 4-1, their best start since they won the division in 2015. The Steelers got off to a ragged start at 1-2-1, but back-to-back wins over the Falcons and Bengals have evened up the division. The Bengals finish the season at Heinz Field.last_img read more