Two Miami Dolphins players knelt during the national anthem ahead of their Thursday preseason opener, and now a local police union is urging its members to protest the team in response to the peaceful demonstration.
The Miami Dolphins’ Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson defied the NFL’s new policy requiring players to stand during the national anthem and took a knee during the Star Spangled Banner to protest racial injustice and police brutality.
In a message posted to Facebook Friday, Broward County Police Benevolent Association wrote that the group had recently offered their members discounted tickets to an upcoming Dolphins game at which first responders will be honored. But due to the players’ peaceful protest, they said they were withdrawing themselves from the discount ticket program and urging its members and other local police union members not to participate and boycott the game.
″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 post read.
In a comment to the Miami Herald, Rod Skirvin, the organization’s vice president, called kneeling during the anthem “a slap in the face” to military and law enforcement officials.
The NFL’s new policy and enforcement rules were put on hold last month after the players’ association filed an official grievance with the league.
“As long as the protest continues, we will protest our attendance at the Dolphins games and continue to stay away from the NFL and its products,” he added.
Several players demonstrated during their preseason openers last week. Four Jacksonville Jaguars players did not join their teammates for the national anthem, arriving on the field a few moments after, according to Florida-Times Union’s Philip Heilman.
Philadelphia Eagles players Malcolm Jenkins and De’Vante Bausby raised their fists during the anthem before their Thursday game, while teammate Michael Bennett did not participate in the anthem and walked towards the bench instead.