A police Union in Cleveland has refused to take part in the opening day ceremonies for the Cleveland Browns citing their disrespect for the American flag and national anthem. After a dozen players took a knee during the pre-season game, police and citizens were shocked and dismayed that NFL players should use their positions of privilege to push a political agenda.
President of the Union, Steve Loomis, said: “As a veteran of Operation Desert Storm and the United States Navy, and a 24-year veteran of the Cleveland Police Department,” “I am not going to participate or work with management that allows their players to disrespect the flag and the national anthem.”
And this could be a trend that only gets worse. The reality is that what these players are protesting, and more so, how they are protesting is moronic!
To say there is institutional racism but present no evidence and point no fingers at where it is shows that these are “feelings”, and we can't fight feelings. If they could just show us where the institutionalised racism is, point it out, show that that is what it is, then ALL of us should join them in protesting it until the laws or institutions are changed…But they don't show us this, they talk of feelings and sentiment!!!
And how they protest is terrible. These are privileged people protesting against a lack of privilege. Don't they know that they could impact thousands of lives positively by just handing over their wages? This would do far more good for impoverished families.
The Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association will no longer take part in the Browns' opening day ceremonies on Sept. 10, according to Union President Steve Loomis.
Members of the union had been scheduled to help hold the American flag before the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, along with military members and other law enforcement officers. However, after several members of the team decided to kneel during the national anthem prior to a preseason game, Loomis and the union decided they would no longer participate, along with Cleveland EMS workers.
Loomis told WKYC the breaking point came when they learned Browns management knew of the protest before it would take place but allowed the players to go ahead.
“As a veteran of Operation Desert Storm and the United States Navy, and a 24-year veteran of the Cleveland Police Department,” Loomis said, “I am not going to participate or work with management that allows their players to disrespect the flag and the national anthem.”
After some members of the team knelt in prayer before the Aug. 21 game against the New York Giants, all members of the team stood during the anthem in Tampa Bay and Chicago. Loomis claims that kept the union from going further: Had the players knelt again, Loomis says he would've advocated pulling all Cleveland police officers from their duties at FirstEnergy Stadium.
Loomis says he made the Browns aware of the union's plans, claiming the team also sent him a statement saying they were “disappointed” in the officers for not “honoring their commitment” to help hold the flag on opening day.
“I find that completely hypocritical,” Loomis said, adding the reaction he has gotten to his decision has been “mostly positive.”
When reached for a statement, the Browns had no specific comment on the union's decision. They did re-released the statement they gave when the players originally knelt last month:
As an organization, we have a profound respect for our country's National Anthem, flag and the servicemen and servicewomen in the United States and abroad. We feel it's important for our team to join in this great tradition and special moment of recognition, at the same time we also respect the great liberties afforded by our country, including the freedom of personal expression.
The initial decision by the players to kneel for the anthem has been met with fierce reactions on both sides. Some organizations have said they will no longer even watch the Browns.
H/T: First Coast News