By Perry Green, AFRO Sports Editor
Police unions in South Florida are urging their officers not to go to any more Miami Dolphins games after two players kneeled during the playing of the National Anthem in a home preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Aug. 9.
The Broward County Police Benevolent Association released a statement on Facebook explaining why it will be ending its relationship with the Dolphins organization because it expected the team to require players to stand for the anthem. Until that happens, the association will no longer support the franchise and encouraged all cops in the South Florida area to boycott Dolphins games.
In this Sunday, Oct. 23, 2016, file photo, Miami Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills (10), free safety Michael Thomas (31) and defensive back Chris Culliver (29) kneel during the National Anthem before the first half of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)
“The Broward County PBA recently offered our members discounts to a Miami Dolphins game because that franchise said they were going to honor all First Responders,” the BCPBA said on Facebook Aug. 10. “We entered into this partnership with the understanding that the Dolphins11 organization would require their players to stand for the National Anthem. This did not happen at last night’s preseason game against Tampa Bay. As a result, the BCPBA will no longer participate in this ticket program, and we are asking all of our members, as well as members of the Dade County PBA and Palm Beach County PBA, not to participate either. 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 Palm Beach County Police Benevolent Association shared the same message on its Facebook page, according to NBC Sports.
The two players that kneeled were veteran receivers Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson. Stills told the media he’s going to continue kneeling in protest of racism and police brutality. Stills also said if NFL wants to repair its relationship with players, it should acknowledge that it blackballed Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid, the pioneers of the kneeling movement.
“It would take a lot, but I think a good first step for us as a league would be acknowledging what they’re doing to Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid,” Still told NBC Sports. “You can’t say as a league that you support the players and the protest and then blackball the players that initially started the protest.”