When the Miami Dolphins have their first home game of the season Sept. 25 against the Cleveland Browns, they might not have their customary police escort to the stadium.
After four Dolphins players refused to stand during the national anthem when it was played prior to their first game against the Seattle Seahawks, the police union in Miami called for a boycott, USA Today reports.
Jeffery Bell, the president of the International Union of Police Associations, Local 6020, explained:
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. ... I can only imagine the public outcry if a group of police officers refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance or if we turned our back for the American flag for the national anthem. There would be a public outcry and internal affairs complaints a mile long on that.
In response, Dolphins star running back Arian Foster replied: “They say it’s not time to do this. Then when is the time? It’s never the time in someone else’s eye.”
In addition to the Dolphins, various players for the New England Patriots, Kansas City Chiefs, and Seattle Seahawks have protested by either sitting or kneeling during the playing of the national anthem at their games.
The protest movement began on Aug. 26 with San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
Despite the warning issued by Local 6020, three of the four protesting Dolphin players refused to stand when the anthem was played before the Sept. 18 game against the New England Patriots. Only linebacker Jelani Jenkins caved in and complied.