The International Union of Police Associations in Miami has asked the Broward County Sheriff’s Office in Florida to stop escorting Miami Dolphins players to the field due to their national anthem protests. Several Dolphins have opted to kneel during the national anthem during the first two weeks of the NFL season.
The Dolphins will have their first home game next Sunday against the Cleveland Browns and the union would prefer if deputies weren’t involved with the team until the protest ends.
Jeffery Bell, the president of the International Union of Police Associations, Local 6020, had the following to say about the situation:
“We’ve asked the deputies and the Broward Sheriff’s Office not to do the details anymore.
“I respect their right to have freedom of speech. However, in certain organizations and certain jobs you give up that right of your freedom of speech temporary while you serve that job or while you play in an NFL game.”
The Broward County Sheriff’s Office had no comment when contacted by the Miami Herald. The Miami-Dade police did respond, saying they “have contractual obligations with Hard Rock Stadium to provide public safety. The safety of our residents and visitors is our primary concern.”
A group of Dolphins, led by veteran Arian Foster, have kneeled in protest during both of Miami’s first two games.
While the police union certainly has the right to express its displeasure with the protest, it won’t earn many fans by essentially threatening to take its ball and go home. That’s childish. The proper way to respond would be for the officers to continue doing their job at a high level.