The Santa Clara Police Officers' Association threatened to boycott San Francisco 49ers home games following protest of police brutality and discrimination against black people by the team's quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
Kaepernick has refused to stand during the national anthem before preseason games against the Green Bay Packers on Aug. 26 and the San Diego Chargers on Sept. 1 in an effort to, according to him, "stand with the people that are being oppressed," Mashable reports.
In a Sept. 2 letter from the police union to Jed York, the owner of the 49ers, the POA said Kaepernick's recent statements and actions have threatened the "harmonious relationship" between the association and the NFL team, according to KNVT.
"If the 49ers organization fails to take action to stop this type of inappropriate workplace behavior, it could result in police officers choosing not to work at your facilities," the letter said, according to the POA's website.
The letter also stated: "The board of directors of the Santa Clara Police Officer's Association has a duty to protect its members and work to make all of their working environments free of harassing behavior."
The police union said cops are also upset over Kaepernick's socks that feature a "derogatory" image of cartoon pigs wearing police hats, as well as his statements about cops "murdering minorities."
As the team has in the past, the 49ers stood behind Kaepernick's First Amendment rights in a statement, according to KNVT: "In respecting such American principles as freedom of religion and freedom of expression, we recognize the right of an individual to choose to participate, or not, in our celebration of the national anthem."
Kaepernick announced during a Sept. 1 post-game press conference that he will to donate $1 million to community organizations, reports NBC News:
I am planning to take it a step further, I'm currently working with organizations to be involved, and making sure I'm actively in these communities, as well as donating the first million dollars I make this year to different organizations to help these communities and help these people.
I've been very blessed to be in this position and make the kind of money I do, and I have to help these people. I have to help these communities. It's not right that they're not put in the position to succeed, or given the opportunities to succeed.
Fellow 49ers player Eric Reid joined Kaepernick on one knee during the national anthem before the Sept. 1 preseason game against the Chargers.