While the number of protesting players across the NFL has declined sharply in recent weeks, the effects of those protests continue to reverberate around the league. Miami-Dade County police officers had threatened not to work last Sunday’s Dolphins-Jets game in response to the protests, and according to the Miami Herald, about one-third of the officers who typically work such games did not volunteer to participate.
Earlier in the week, the Herald had reported that police officers were considering withdrawing from game security duty as a way to protest against what they believe is a disrespectful attitude exhibited by players. Sunday morning, Dade County Police Benevolent Association President John Rivera told the Herald that the police detail would be “the minimal amount where they feel safe, but I don’t think they’re going to have the ideal amount.” (Yahoo Sports has reached out to the Dolphins for comment.)
An ideal amount of officers in place for a Dolphins-Jets game is about 400; Fox Business reported that about only 270 worked the game. Rivera indicated that the police department had to order many officers to work the game; those officers received overtime pay, which is more than the usual off-duty pay that officers receive for working games.
No Dolphins knelt during the anthem on Sunday, but Michael Thomas, Kenny Stills and Julius Thomas, who had knelt earlier in the season, remained in the locker room during the anthem. All three players have worked actively with police this season to improve communication and accountability on all sides:
THREAD: I want to thank N. Miami PD, & all police departments, who put their lives on the line everyday to protect our communities. (1/5) pic.twitter.com/KdCubhiaZm
— Kenny Stills (@KSTiLLS) October 11, 2017
Rivera noted that the police officers’ unwillingness to work could prove to be an issue throughout the rest of the season. However, the Herald reported that Rivera indicated he would be “willing to sit down with [team] owners and maybe the players so we can all understand each other.”
This is not the first time a police organization has used football games as an opportunity to protest player demonstrations. Earlier this year, Cleveland’s police union threatened not to participate in the national anthem because of Browns players’ demonstrations. The Browns and the police union reached an agreement, and the police worked the anthem as normal.
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