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Miami Dolphins players Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson became some of the first NFL players this season to kneel during the national anthem in preseason Week 1, an act which was obviously not going to be met with universal approval.
One of the strongest reactions to the anthem this side of President Donald Trump came from two police unions in South Florida that posted very similar statements on Facebook blasting the Dolphins organization and call on its members to boycott the team.
Police unions predictably blast Dolphins players’ anthem protests
The Broward County Police Benevolent Association posted this statement to Facebook on Friday morning:
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. 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. As a result, the BCPBA will no longer participate in this ticket program, and 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. 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.
The Palm Beach County Police Benevolent Association followed suit less than two hours later with a very similar statement.
In the statements, both unions state they offered their members discounts for Dolphins games because the organization said it was “going to honor all First Responders” and require players to stand for the anthem.
Dolphins and NFL both walked back anthem policies
The mention of requiring players to stand for the anthem might refer to the organization’s anthem policy threatening to suspend players for kneeling, but team owner Stephen Ross had long walked that policy back by saying it was only a “placeholder.” The NFL also froze its policy of fining teams for players who protest the anthem while it negotiates with the NFLPA.
Policies aside, Stills and Wilson still knelt for the anthem on Thursday to protest social injustices. That drew the public ire of the unions, who have now suspended their partnership with the team and urged all members who bought a ticket to request a refund.
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