A week ago, the union that represents the police officers who oversee San Francisco 49ers home games suggested that some officers may decide not to work games in the future because of quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s recent protests.
But in a letter posted publicly on Thursday, the Santa Clara Police Officers Association said the mayor of Santa Clara, Lisa Gillmor, has done enough for the union to feel comfortable suggesting officers not boycott 49ers games.
In the letter, the union made clear that the work is done voluntarily, accused the Santa Clara police chief of being “more concerned about appearing to do something than actually educating the public about the facts” and said the 49ers organization has “ignored [their] concerns.” But the union nevertheless stopped short of advocating that officers skip the games altogether, and, in fact, even asked the officers to continue to work the games.
“[W]e will encourage and support our officers to continue to voluntarily work at 49er games and other stadium events,” the letter reads in part.
The union has been rankled by Kaepernick’s recent behavior, which includes wearing socks depicting police officers as pigs and sitting during the national anthem. Whether or not individual officers will opt against working the games remains to be seen, but the letter appears to answer the question of whether there will be a top-down call for a boycott. Roughly 70 officers voluntarily work each 49ers game, according to the Associated Press.
The news came the same day as the 49ers announced owner Jed York would donate $1 million to help police-community relations and inner-city children.