Police union asks officers to boycott Miami Dolphins after players kneeled during anthem
The Broward County Police Benevolent Association is urging its officers to protest the Miami Dolphins football team after some of its players knelt during the national anthem ahead of their preseason opener on Thursday in a peaceful demonstration, reports said.
Reports state that two of the Miami Dolphin players, Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson, defied the new policy issued by the National Football League (NFL), which requires the players to stand during the national anthem. The players reportedly took a knee during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial injustice in the country, according to HuffPost.
The gesture, however, was not taken lightly by the local police union, which posted a message on Facebook on Friday and said that the Broward County Police Benevolent Association had recently offered discounted tickets to an upcoming Dolphins game at which first responders will be honored. However, because of the players' protest last week, they have decided to withdraw themselves from the discount ticket program.
The association also urged its members and other local police union members to not participate in the event and boycott the game altogether.
The post read: "If you have already purchased tickets to this game, we encourage you to call the Dolphins ticket office to request a refund because this organization obviously DOES NOT honor First Responders and the dangers they put themselves in every day."
The union's vice president, Rod Skirvin, while talking to the Miami Herald, said that the players' protest during the anthem was "a slap in the face" to military and other law enforcement officials.
"As long as the protest continues, we will protest our attendance at the Dolphins games and continue to stay away from the NFL and its products," Skirvin added.
Enforcement of the NFL's new policy was reportedly put on hold last month after the player's association filed an official grievance with the league regarding the teams' right to express themselves.
Last week preseason openers saw multiple players protesting during the anthem. At least four Jacksonville Jaguars players also protested and did not join their teammates for the national anthem. According to Florida-Times Union's Philip Heilman, the players arrived on the field a few moments after the anthem.