Michael Bennett claims police threatened to shoot him following the Floyd Mayweather Jr versus Conor McGregor fight in Las Vegas last month, "simply for being a black man in the wrong place at the wrong time".
In a note addressed "Dear World" posted on his Twitter account, Bennett said he was leaving the T-Mobile Arena to return to his hotel when he and "several hundred" others in the area heard what sounded like gunshots and began to run for safety.
The Seattle Seahawks defensive lineman says he is considering filing a civil rights lawsuit after being detained by Las Vegas police.
Bennett claimed a police officer in the area stopped him and ordered him to get on the ground, then put a gun to his head and explicitly threatened to shoot him if he moved. Bennett said a second officer then "forcefully jammed his knee into my back" as they handcuffed him.
"I ran away from the sound, looking for safety," he wrote. "Las Vegas police officers singled me out and pointed their guns at me for doing nothing more than simply being a black man in the wrong place at the wrong time.
"A police officer ordered me to get on the ground. As I lay on the ground, complying with his commands not to move, he placed his gun near my head and warned me that if I moved he would 'blow my f***** head off'.
"A second officer came over and forcefully jammed his knee into my back, making it difficult for me to breathe."
The post added: "All I could think of was 'I'm going to die for no other reason than I am black and my skin color is somehow a threat'.
"I kept asking the officers 'what did I do?' and reminding them that I had rights they were duty bound to respect. The officers ignored my please and instead told me to shut up and then took me to the back of a nearby police car where I sat for what felt like an eternity until they apparently realized I was not a thug, common criminal or ordinary black man but Michael Bennett, a famous professional football player.
"After confirming my identity, I was ultimately released without any legitimate justification for the officers' abusive conduct.
"I have retained Oakland Civil Rights Attorney John Burris to investigate and explore all my legal options including filing a civil rights lawsuit for the violation of my constitutional rights."
Bennett sat on the bench during the national anthem before the Seahawks' games this preseason and said he plans to do so throughout the regular season while continuing to "use my platform to be able to speak on injustice."
He said in the statement he released Wednesday that the Las Vegas incident "unequivocally" reinforced his belief that "equality doesn't live in this country."
Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, a vocal critic against what he perceives to be social injustice in America, posted his support for Bennett on Twitter.
"This violation that happened against my Brother Michael Bennett is disgusting and unjust. I stand with Michael and I stand with the people," he wrote.
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) responded to Bennett's allegations, urging for judgement to be reserved while an investigation is undertaken.
A tweet from LVMPD's official account read: "Reference a statement made by Michael Bennett, this case is under investigation. Reserve judgment. We will address this publicly today."
|Ballack sees ´a big difference´ between Bundesliga and Premier League|
|Karmichael Hunt faces no conviction, but will remain sidelined|
|Betis boss would have preferred to face Madrid´s BBC|
|Chelsea v Barcelona: Messi´s blues against the Blues|
|James leaving Madrid was the best thing, says father|
|He´s looking good – Zidane thrilled with Ronaldo|
|It needs to take 30 seconds – Matic wants quicker VAR|
|Team LeBron edges Team Stephen in thrilling All-Star Game|
|McIlroy sees progress despite failing to contend at Riviera|
|Silver supports NBA players speaking out on social issues|
|Mickelson ready for Masters after third straight top-six finish|
|Gattuso: My job is to be the players´ nightmare until season´s end|
|I wasn´t good enough – Guardiola reveals Wigan rejection|
|Dillon reigns supreme with overtime win at Daytona 500|
|Bubba Watson ends drought with third Genesis Open title|
|Brazilian derby between Vitoria and Bahia abandoned after red-card frenzy|
|Anderson ends barren spell with New York Open triumph|
|It was crazy, but I like that - Zidane revels in eight-goal Betis thriller|
|Asensio credits Zidane for Madrid´s thrilling Betis comeback|
|Zidane hopeful over Marcelo hamstring injury|
|Overton replaces injured Plunkett for Blacks Caps ODI series|
|Bonaventura claims Milan can catch Inter|
|Bravo for Claudio! Guardiola to pick keeper at Wembley|
|Mourinho hoping for reinforcements at Sevilla|
|´Quick-healer´ Groves hopeful over shoulder injury|
|Real Madrid become first side to score 6,000 goals in LaLiga|
|Real Betis 3 Real Madrid 5: Asensio at the double in LaLiga classic|
|AC Milan 1 Sampdoria 0: Bonaventura makes it 10 unbeaten for Rossoneri|
|Schurrle excited to finally link up with Reus and Gotze|
|Fit-again Hughes included in England squad|
|New number one Federer revels in ´unbelievable´ week|
|Real Madrid defender Marcelo suffers hamstring injury|
|Costa fumes referees ´want to give me a card´, but Simeone plays down penalty row|
|Thiem regains Argentina Open title|
|Stoger makes Dortmund history with Gladbach win|
|Championship Review: Leeds fight back for point, Norwich & Ipswich share derby spoils|
|Racing beat La Rochelle to go second, Castres edge out Bordeaux|
|Borussia Monchengladbach 0 Borussia Dortmund 1: Burki unbeatable as Reus returns to haunt Foals|
|FA Cup ´magic´ no surprise to Pochettino after Rochdale thriller|
|Rochdale hero Davies: This is every kid´s dream|
|Atletico Madrid will not stop in pursuit of Barcelona, promises Gameiro|
|Banks boot pays dividends for Treviso|
|Lucky 13 and second successive title for Kvitova after Muguruza classic|
|´Wrong image´ to blame for VAR confusion in Manchester United´s FA Cup win|
|Rochdale 2 Tottenham 2: Davies denies Kane in FA Cup classic|
|Rieder stretchered off as Wasps extend Chiefs´ slump|
|Atletico Madrid 2 Athletic Bilbao 0: Gameiro and Costa settle cagey clash|
|NHL commissioner Bettman condemns ´reprehensible´ Smith-Pelly abuse|
|Visser, Scott and Nel among six recalled by Scotland|
|Bhuvneshwar and Dhawan inspire India´s Wanderers win|
|Napoli set club record with another Serie A win|
|Froome disappoints in time trial as Wellens wins Ruta del Sol|
|Napoli 1 SPAL 0: Allan sends hosts top of Serie A again|
|Federer makes short work of disappointing Dimitrov|
|Allegri allays Higuain injury fears|
|Blackhawks fans ejected after racist heckling of Capitals´ Smith-Pelly|
|Allegri convinced Juve can get past Spurs|
|Sri Lanka sweep series after dominating Bangladesh|
|Everton fear ´long-term´ injury for Mangala|
|If it isn´t Madrid, it´s Paris - Hazard tires of speculation|
|Luiten claims Oman Open title|
|Torino 0 Juventus 1: Champions win derby but lose Higuain|
|Neymar exit made Barcelona stronger - Ter Stegen|
|Remove T20 cricket from international schedule - Bayliss|
|Injured Higuain forced off against Torino|
|Jesus confident of returning strong after knee injury|
|DeGale launches Twitter attack on beaten Eubank Jr|
|We had to change hotels – Ovrebo recalls fury after 2009 Chelsea-Barcelona semi-final|
|Spalletti: Inter board will decide my future|
|Munro blitz helps Black Caps progress despite defeat|