Member of Seattle Seahawks Burns American Flag in Locker Room-Fiction!

Summary of eRumor:

A photo shows Michael Bennet, a member of the Seattle Seahawks, burning the American flag in the team’s locker room.

The Truth:

False reports that the Seattle Seahawks burned an American flag in the team’s locker room came from a photo that was manipulated with photo editing software.

The photo, which first appeared at the Facebook page “Vets for Trump,” appears to show Seahawks player Michael Bennett holding a burning American flag while other members of the team cheer in the background. However, the original image can be found at Seahawks.com and shows Bennett celebrating in the locker room without a burning American flag in his hand:

Michael Bennett has taken part in national anthem protests, and he also accused Las Vegas police  of racial profiling and excessive use of force in September 2017 after officers detained him while investigating reports of shots fired. Las Vegas Review Journal reports that Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo defended the officers handling of the case and denied that race played a role in Bennett’s treatment:

Lombardo played Cromwell security footage of people ducking to the ground after confusing the sound of stanchions hitting the floor with gunshots. Other footage showed Bennett and others running out of the hotel, with Bennett keeping his head down.

Body camera footage showed police placing a visibly distressed Bennett into the back of a patrol car outside the hotel. The footage shows him pleading with officers to explain why he was being detained and telling police an officer held a gun to his head and threatened to shoot him.

“I almost lost my life, man, for no reason,” Bennett told officers in the video.

Lombardo said police had found no evidence officers told Bennett they would shoot him or a gun was pointed at his head, adding an officer did have his gun out while trying to detain Bennett.
Bennett is seen telling police an officer asked why he ran and jumped over a wall.

“Somebody shooting, man,” Bennett said. “I got three daughters. I want to go home and see my kids.”

After officers identified Michael Bennett using a Google image search, Lombardo said he was released without further incident. Days later, however, Bennett spoke out publicly about the situation — which is likely why he was the player depicted holding a burning flag in the altered photo.

A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:

Collected on: 10/09/2017
Seahawks Burn Flag
A digitally-manipulated photo of Michael Bennett is behind false reports that the Seattle Seahawks burned a flag in their locker room.