A Florida labor union representing police officers in Broward County is calling on its members to send the Miami Dolphins a powerful message.
The Broward County Police Benevolent Association cancelled participation in a discount ticket program with the NFL franchise after some players refused to stand for the national anthem at a preseason game.
“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,” a statement posted on Facebook read.
“We entered into this partnership with the understanding that the Dolphins organization would require their players to stand for the National Anthem. This did not happen at last night’s preseason game against Tampa Bay,” it continued.
The Broward County PBA announced it would no longer take part in the program and asked its members to follow suit.
“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,” the statement read.
Many NFL players continued their national anthem protests with raised fists and bended knees as the league began the 2018 preseason this week.
Miami Dolphins wide receivers Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson knelt during “The Star-Spangled Banner” behind their teammates who were standing along the sideline before their game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who did not appear to be protesting. Defensive end Robert Quinn stood and raised his right fist.
Former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who sparked the protests by kneeling during the national anthem last season to protest social injustices, tweeted in response to Stills and Wilson’s reported protests.
The Broward County PBA urged members to request refunds for tickets already purchased.
“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,” their statement read.
Neighboring county PBA’s shared the message.
Though some of the comments on Facebook asserted that NFL players have a constitutional right to kneel or protest how they want during the national anthem, many others backed the police organization and its decision.
“I didn’t see any of the people kneeling do anything in the off-season to address their concerns so to me it is just a matter of disrespect for the country so I won’t be watching pro football,” one Facebook user wrote.
“When the NFL disrespects our first responders, our military, our country, and our flag, they are no longer Americans, they are the enemy within,” another commented.