The NFL protest continues to send shockwaves throughout the football community and now the Cleveland Browns have reportedly lost the support of the Cleveland Police Union for deciding to kneel during the National Anthem.
As more NFL players come forward in support of fellow player and activist Colin Kaepernick by kneeling during the anthem, many local law enforcement officers have voiced their displeasure. As reported by The Root, the Cleveland Police Union refused to hold the American flag as a response to at least a dozen Cleveland Browns players kneeling during the National Anthem.
Via The Root:
Cleveland.com reports that Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association President Steve Loomis made the announcement [to not hold the American flag] on Friday [with] regards the Sept. 10 game.
As reported previously on Aug. 21, a dozen Browns players knelt or stood in a circle of solidarity during a preseason game against the New York Giants, including, for the first time, a white player. They also locked arms during the playing of the National Anthem prior to the preseason game against the Bears on Aug. 31. According to Loomis, doing so was “ignorant.”
Loomis also told Cleveland.com that he felt offended because players are disrespecting those who protect and serve the nation. “It’s just ignorant for someone to do that,” said Loomis. “It just defies logic to me. The fact that management was aware of what they planned on doing, that’s as offensive as it can get.”
Loomis wasn’t done with his opinions on the Browns players protest, as he continued to heavily criticize their decisions because he views the kneeling as a direct insult to himself and his officers. “When management allows you to do those things, then that’s on them,” Loomis said. “It’s hypocritical of the Browns management and ownership to want to have an armed forces first-responder day, and have us involved in it when they allow their players to take a knee during the national anthem. That’s the very representation of what we stand for. That’s why we aren’t going to.”
Interestingly, the Executive Vice President of Football Operations, Sashi Brown, said in a statement that the Browns players handled themselves well, so it appears that the higher ups are fine with the protest. Brown stated, “Professionally, thoughtfully, probably as thoughtfully as any others have, these are guys that mean well. We really push our guys to be active and conscious about the communities they live in and what goes on around them that might be even larger than football. They do that, and we support them. We respect their efforts to use their platform to make some change and express themselves. I’m actually proud of them.”
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