The Santa Clara Police Officers’ Association is changing its stance regarding its patrol of 49ers games at Levi’s Stadium, now saying it is encouraging its member police officers to work events at the facility.
Less than a week ago, the union said it was giving officers the option of declining assignments at the stadium because of Colin Kaepernick’s protest of what he deems the oppression of black people in the United States, particularly police brutality against the race. Also, police were miffed that Kaepernick, even before refusing to stand for the national anthem, wore socks at practice depicting officers as pigs.
But after Santa Clara Mayor Lisa Gillmor thanked the officers for their service and asked them to work the games, the police union is reversing course. In a letter to Gillmor, posted on its website, the union said:
"We appreciate your open and thoughtful letter which clarified a major misconception that we are required to work at 49ers games. ...
"Until you issued your public statement, our association was disappointed that local leaders remained silent on the issue, especially when our personal and professional integrity has been questioned. Our own police chief seemed more concerned about appearing to do something rather than actually educating the public about the facts. ...
"Because of your leadership on this issue, we will encourage our officers to continue to voluntarily work at 49ers games and other stadium events."
Police spokesperson Lt. Dan Moreno clarified in an email to USA Today that "there is not and there has never been a boycott.” While officers were given the option not to work the games, the assignments are voluntary to begin with, and Moreno said that to his knowledge, no officer was refusing to work 49ers game.
“It’s business as usual,” Moreno said Wednesday.