Dear Seattle Seahawks,

September 15, 2017

[Publisher’s Note: We received the following letter from a Seattle-area officer, written in response to the controversy surrounding Michael Bennett’s detention in Las Vegas after a suspected active shooter incident. Football–like everything else it seems–has of recent become rife with controversies. But seldom have we heard from how they affect police. If you aren’t familiar with the Bennett incident, a timeline is appended to the end of the article, along with primary documents, for your convenience.]

Dear Seattle Seahawks,

Pete Carroll implored us to be better and stand up to inequity when we encounter it. Well, here goes.

I am a local police officer and twelfth man. But after this week, I’m not sure I can reconcile the two anymore. Not because of what Michael Bennett said, but rather because of what Coach Carroll said and his egregious implications of the entire police profession.

That’s not to say that I don’t disagree with Michael Bennett, I do. He spoke out against the police for reacting with prejudice and bias, and, in the next breath, did that very thing with regard to the Las Vegas officers who detained Bennett. He didn’t know the officer’s names but, apparently, he knows them well enough to peer into their hearts and minds and impugn them as racists.

And this isn’t the first time Michael Bennett has been presumptuous about what he claims to know. Last season, he presumed that Q-13 sports reporter Bill Wixley wouldn’t know what it’s like to persevere through physical adversity. Really Mr. Bennet? Wixley is a cancer survivor. But this is the new normal, not having to know the facts before concluding something is true. As long as you feel or believe it is, you can go ahead and say it publicly with little thought to its ultimate impact.

But, again, Michael Bennett isn’t who has me wondering whether being a Seahawks fan, as a police officer, is tenable anymore. Until now I’ve been able to make distinctions between the opinions expressed by individual players and the team I love to root for on Sundays. All that changed this week when Pete Carroll weighed in.

As the coach, I fully expected that he’d come out in support of Michael Bennett. But Coach Carroll went further by saying what Mr. Bennett experienced was a “classic example of the reality of inequality.” When he said that, he not only presumed to know as much about police response tactics to a terrorist event —that’s what an active shooter situation is—as he does about winning football games. Worse, he too presumed to know that these officers had racist motivations and purposely singled his player out because of the color of his skin.

Shame on you coach.

Coach Carroll leads that group of men, sets the tone, fosters the culture. Along with Michael Bennett, Doug Baldwin, and Richard Sherman, he assumed the worst of those police officers while standing on the team’s platform, in front of the team’s logo, from the team’s headquarters, and on the team’s website. When he said those things, I heard not the opinion or belief of an individual, but that of my team, the Seattle Seahawks as a whole.

Just as I don’t understand how it is to coach an NFL game, Coach Carroll obviously knows nothing about what those officers were going through during an active shooter event. It’s more than Xs and Os on a chalkboard, I guarantee you that.

Here’s some food for thought about what they were experiencing.

They were dispatched to reports of an active shooter in a casino on Las Vegas Boulevard. Think about that for a second. Thousands of people concentrated in a localized area, with an armed gunman shooting. Consider the confusion of The Strip and the challenges that saving lives under such conditions would present. That’s what these officers were attempting to do: potentially stopping more bloodshed at no small risk to themselves. They were there to save the lives of everyone, including your player.

In an active shooter situation, an officer’s personal safety is set aside. Ever since Columbine we have adopted the ethic of stopping at nothing to neutralize the threat. Even if that means sacrificing ourselves. We will put ourselves between the shooter and total strangers of every race, creed, color and life choice.

Here’s what that means physiologically. Acid dumps into our stomachs. Our vision becomes tunneled, as though we are looking through a paper towel tube. You stop hearing certain things, but at the same time you’re overwhelmed with other sounds. Fine motor skills disappear. You are gulping air as you find yourself losing oxygen. You forget how you got from where you were to where you are now. That’s what those officers were experiencing when they noticed Michael Bennet running from them.

All of that is overwhelming and terrifying. More terrifying than missing a block or dropping a ball.

According to the Las Vegas police, “Bennett was seen crouched down behind a gaming machine as the officers approached. Once Bennett was in the officer’s view, he quickly ran out the south doors, jumped over a wall onto Flamingo Road East of Las Vegas Boulevard into traffic.”

You think, out of all the hundreds of people they encountered–people of every race by the way–that maybe Bennett’s behavior was the cause of the officer’s actions? Not the color of his skin?

To suggest that, in the middle of all that chaos, those officers saw an opportunity to single out Michael Bennett and terrorize him because of his race is not only biased in and of itself, it is breathtakingly ignorant.

Remember this please, coach. It takes seven referees two minutes to review high-definition video from multiple camera angles on a well-lit, flat, unobstructed field of play just to determine if the ball was caught inbounds or a knee was down. Think about that when you judge police officers, who are frightened and overwhelmed, but who are still going selflessly towards the perceived threat.

Coach, calling officers you’ve never met, talked to or know anything about, racists, that is what creates “inequality.”

I wasn’t a football fan at all until I was involved in a fatal shooting at work a number of years ago. I needed a temporary escape from the post-traumatic stress that followed and started watching NFL football. Now, I’m in deep. At game time, I text with my dad, my uncle, my brother, my nephew throughout each game. My wife and kids and I get the annual family Santa photo done in our Seahawks jerseys. I was like a kid on Christmas putting my Seahawks flag up by the front door of our house the day of the first pre-season game. Just like all the 12s, I’ve been waiting to break out all my jerseys, sweatshirts, and gear.

The other day was Blue Friday, and not just any Blue Friday, but the first one after the long, tedious drought of the off season. I wear plain clothes and have a boring desk job so I can wear pretty much whatever I want. But last week, for the first time, I couldn’t see myself walking into the police station wearing my Seattle Seahawks garb. Not after that team impugned my fellow officers. I couldn’t walk by all the selfless, dedicated, courageous police officers loading up their patrol cars and heading out to confront the unknown.

All my Seahawks stuff is sitting in a pile on the floor of my closet. I’m going to leave it there for a week or two while I marinate on this a bit more, consider the opinions of others, and see how things play out. I’m conflicted, truthfully. But if it comes down to it, I may be selling off my jerseys, flag, and other stuff and donating the proceeds to the Las Vegas Police Officers Union.


Teamless in Seattle



Sunday, Aug. 27, 2017

Las Vegas Metro received a call about an active shooter around 1:30 a.m. in the Cromwell Casino after the Mayweather-McGreggor fight. Everyone was told to evacuate.

Despite initial panic, it was found later that no shots had been fired. According to reports from the scene, the loud noises had resulted from a brawl near the casino entrance, which had toppled a number of ornamental statues.

Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017

Michael Bennett (Seattle Seahawks defensive end) tweeted one word, “Equality,” with the following photo/letter:




Wednesday September 6th, 2017

Coach Pete Carroll addresses the media.


Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017

Las Vegas Police Union sends letter to NFL asking for an investigation of Michael Bennett for “false and defamatory” comments.

Friday, Sept. 8, 2017

“There is no allegation of a violation of the league’s personal conduct policy and therefore there is no basis for an NFL investigation,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy wrote in response to the LVPD’s request, via

NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith also issued a statement: “There are no grounds for the NFL to investigate our union rep, and I look forward to [NFL Commissioner] Roger [Goodell] confirming the same.”

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  1. Samuel Fivey

    Very well said! Had been a season ticket holder for a couple decades. We let our go and I would not make any effort to get them back.

  2. Steebie

    I dropped the NFL last year, not because of knucklehead Kaepernick, but because of Goodell: he simultaneously endorsed the kneeling players (which has morphed from its original anti-cop meaning and been rebranded into overall inequality, as if it was never just about Kaep hating cops) while rejecting Jerry Jones request for a 1″ sticker on the Cowboys uniform honoring the fallen officers in Dallas. Essentially, this means anti-cop protest is part of the NFL platform, right? If he endorses one and doesn’t allow the other, it’s not at all about free speech. The NFL has chosen its side.

  3. Darin Hoover

    Could not have said this any better!!!!

  4. kjb

    When will these people learn you cooperate with police, not try to flee!!!??? If you’ve done nothing wrong, there’s NO REASON TO FLEE! He could have brought a good conclusion to the situation by standing up from his hiding position with arms raised!

  5. David Jordan

    I have been a Seattle Seahawk fan since their inception. I gave up my love for the Cowboys, 49er’s, Pittsburg, Green Bay, or Oakland for the new Seahawk team in the NW. I have been with them through thick and thin. I was excited when we went to the Super Bowl against the Pittsburg Steelers only to have the game decided by blind officiating. Then the introduction to Pete Caroll, Russ Wilson and company and a Super Bowl win and another CLOSE Super Bowl loss! Well, in the last few years, I have grown tired of the political BS that seems to be more important than football. All in all, Dallas (Cowboys) looks pretty good, but I think I will start chanting “Go (WSU) Cougars!!”

  6. Melissa Pearce

    My husband is a Metro Officer and I will gladly make/get some LVMPD shirts made to sell to all the Hawks fans to replace their jersey to wear to their games.. the proceeds can go to the families of the LVMPD officers who have to go on unpaid leave for claims like this.

    • r zarb

      Melissa Pearce- I would love to purchase a few of these shirt. Please provide details for me at

  7. Alan Rascal

    I won’t watch a Seahawks game FOREVER! Not even when my COWBOYS spank their asses!

  8. Imjay

    Well said, Teamless. I’d take it further though. Last year or the year before I saw a picture, may

  9. Jim Adair

    When Kaepernick acted like an ass and disrespected our flag all the coach of the 49ers had to do was bench him and this crap would never have been an issue.

  10. R Buck

    I have already dropped NFL Sunday Ticket, just about finished with the NFL completely. And who is going to work security for Las Vegas Raiders games in 2020? You better start correcting this downward spiral Goodell, or the NFL will take a substantial hit under your watch!

  11. USMC0311

    Here is another example of a multi millionaire getting on the Kapernick bandwagon for nothing more than self engrandizement. I’m a POST certified Active Shooter Response Instructor for my agency and have been personally involved in two active shooter incidents one of which a child was taken hostage by the suspect who was armed with a rifle. They are horrible events that often take hours to resolve.
    God bless this officer for writing this letter. I will also add that I have been DONE with the NFL for some time. Roger Goodell is an Obama supporter who couldn’t care less about our brothers and sisters in blue, he cares only about ratings. The LMPD officers responding to this radio call did everything correctly from what I read and God bless them for their swift action.
    This is one of the reasons that the NFLs viewership and ratings overall are WAY down because people are tired of the political BS from clowns like Pete Carroll and the jackass players who will run down America with every breath they can muster yet waste no time cashing their million dollar paychecks and enjoying all the rights and freedoms this country provides them.
    Try to stay above the nonsense, stay sage out there, use good tactics and make it home alive. God bless all my brothers and sisters in blue. Stay safe.

    -From a street cop in SoCal

  12. justanobserver

    Narcissistic Freakin Losers, NFL. Haven’t watched these losers in more than 3 decades. More interesting to watch paint dry. NCAA is already headed in the same direction. Guess everyone wants to run the same “plays.” Peace, and cover your 6.

  13. Murphy's Mom

    Choices have consequences. For Goodall and for Bennett.

  14. Craig Montgomery

    None of that rebuts anything in Michael Bennett’s statement of his personal experience.

    • prohibitedweapon

      It completely rebuts his statement, because he failed to mention the hiding and the running from police. That is the stuff that gets you chased and weapons drawn. Bennett’s personal experience statement was a lie, right up to the point he got caught by the pursuing officers. After that, I’m pretty sure he saw the business end of at least one handgun which is completely reasonable considering the circumstances. He can be butt hurt all he wants for what happened. That’s his perogative, but he omitted facts to try to steer the narrative which makes him unreliable and generally full of $H!T.

  15. Sportsmama

    Well written, brings up very valid points. Like a Hispanic officer having the thought of chasing with racial motive a Black man in the middle of an active shooting call

  16. bob h

    The NFL spokesman said the league won’t investigate because there was no violation their policy on personal conduct. I have to wonder what exactly that policy says. I’m pretty sure the league would investigate if an NFL player said a referee penalized them because of personal animus and called that referee a racist who abused his position. If that would merit an investigation as a possible violation of the NFL policy on personal conduct but Bennett’s statements do not then obviously that policy isn’t about PERSONAL conduct but only about conduct related to football.

  17. kaththee

    I’ve been privy to seeing professional athletes, football players included, when they are out of the public eye. While I’m sure that they would prefer to win, as long as they have their bling, their Escalade, and their female admirers, they really don’t care that much about “The Game”. Coaches are a different matter; they almost always seem to be worrying about something! The players don’t really have any loyalty to a given city, despite all the hype and bombast. It’s about time that they (pro sports) realize that they are nothing more than entertainers throwing a ball around, and that if they are going to insult the public, or things that the public values, that we will spend our entertainment dollars elsewhere.

  18. Vern Roy


  19. Sharon Risdon

    NFL….STOP showboating and being disrespectful! Come up with SOLUTIONS to resolve the problems! Anyone have a specific solution???? To easy and chicken shit to complain and take a knee!!!! Complaining and demonstrating on “live” TV without any solutions is just going to keep on going for years to come….keep taking a knee until you can come up with solutions!

  20. Dan Maurer

    And today they earned the name SeaChickens. A fan since ’76. Now they hide while the Anthem plays. Out.

  21. Kimmie68

    I was done with NFL with Beyonce’s performance at the super bowl. This is supposed to be a family game family time. They are paid to do a job just do your job stand for the anthem and play football. They all keep talking about a platform well if you are that well known and want your platform pay for your own commercial play the national anthem and all you disrespectful players can sit on the floor. We as the tv watcher can turn off your paid for commercial. But leave the political crap at the stadium door and play football and stop showing our children disrespect to our service men and women and all those in blue that are on the streets keeping you safe!

  22. Linda Applegate

    Totally disgusted. No NFL for us.

  23. Marcia Mason

    As a mother of two policeman, who lives in Dallas I find the kneeling at football games a slap in the face of good, diligent, merciful cops everywhere which 99% of them are. They live with the horror of fatal accidents, gunshot wounds and mans inhumanity to man yet they approach each new situation with kind professionalism and integrity. If you feel the need to exercise your 1st amendment rights, do it on your own time and your own, not the fan’s dime. Rent ad space on a network tv to exercise your opinion. I for one will not be forced to watch you. Sad to say my late husband served 20yrs in military service and his flag draped coffin was folded and given to me. Thank God he didn’t live to see what has happened to the NFL. Shameful and despicable. His son one of the above referenced policeman is recently redeployed to Afghanistan. You make me sick.

  24. Rick Medved

    Bennett says, “there’s no other reason other than i’m black” even though he was crouching behind a machine and then sprinted for the door as soon as he saw an officer. he also says he was detained “for what felt like an eternity”, even though police records show it was less than 10 minutes. and further he wants to make sure people know he’s not an “ordinary black man”? really? maybe a little full of yourself?

  25. Scottftlc

    I am not a police officer…I have been very lucky to have known quite a few during my career and my private life. I now live in Las Vegas, and know a couple of Metro officers here. I also was a Seahawks fan, having lived up there most of my life. Was. You know, people are free to say and protest what they want, even if they just make it up in their own heads. They can even do it in their workplace, if that’s what the NFL or its teams or players wants. But if they are ignorant or stupid, as Michael Bennett and Pete Carroll are; and if they offend me, as they have, I can use my time and my money in different ways and on different things. And I will. And from what I can see many people – who knows, maybe millions – are exercising THEIR freedom by changing what they do with their time and money. Yeah, NFL players, coaches, teams, and league officials are free and can practice their freedoms. So can we. They problem for them is that they’ve forgotten that this is a business to them, and losing millions of people like me is going to have a deleterious effect on their business. There is such a thing as a stupid businessman. We’re seeing it.

  26. Donnie Newell

    anything to cause division in our country. I Blame the Rich owners and the media colluding against our president.


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