Cleveland Police Refuse To Participate In Cleveland Browns’ Disrespect
Cleveland, OH – Local police and EMTs have said that they will not participate in the team’s opening game ceremony due to a group of Cleveland Browns players who refuse to stand for the national anthem.
The Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association (CPPA) and the ILA Local 75, which represents dispatchers, EMTs, and paramedics, have both said that they will not be on the field holding an American flag on the first game, scheduled for September 10 against the Pittsburgh Steelers, according to Fox News Insider.
Many NFL players have kneeled for the flag during preseason and regular season games, a form of protest which was started in the 2016 preseason by Colin Kaepernick, former quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers. Kaepernick remains unsigned as the NFL continues its preseason games and prepares for the actual season.
When Kaepernick first kneeled for the anthem, he said that he refused to stand and “…show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” according to SBNation. He has been openly vocal in his criticism of police, and has said that he kneeled because of “racial injustice” and “shootings of minorities by police.”
Some NFL players have continued kneeling for the anthem, and the Cleveland Browns players who refused to stand during the August 21 preseason game were among the largest groups so far.
CPPA President Steve Loomis said that it is “hypocritical” for the team to ask police officers to “help with the flag while players show disrespect on the sidelines.”
If police and first responders do not participate in opening ceremonies at the first regular season game, it has been reported that in their place, military personnel will hold the flag that the Browns will be disrespecting.