Three Miami Dolphins players protested the national anthem last Thursday prior to their preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Wide receivers Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson took a knee — while defensive tackle Robert Quinn raised a fist.
Last season, Stills knelt during “The Star-Spangled Banner” as well.
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In response to this, two police unions now have urged their members to take action.
The Broward County Police Benevolent Association (PBA) and the Palm Beach County PBA both put out statements asking their members to give up any tickets they might have to Dolphins games this season.
On their respective Facebook pages, the groups told members to call the Dolphins box office — and request a refund for any tickets they have to future games.
The Broward County PBA recently offered our members discounts to a Miami Dolphins game because that franchise said they…
The Broward PBA’s statement reads in part: “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.”
Broward PBA Vice President Rod Skirvin also voiced his frustrations over the weekend.
“It’s a slap in the face,” he told the Miami Herald. “We have a lot of police officers in the county who are ex-military. It’s not just a slap in the face to our military — past and present— but to all law enforcement officers across the country. 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.”
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Although the Palm Beach County PBA also put out a similar statement on Friday, it appears that’s since been deleted, according to Fox News.
South Florida police unions were invited to a November Dolphins home game and received discounted tickets, as the team planned to honor first responders, the Herald reported.
Skirvin said his union accepted the offer in July when the team’s anthem stance was different.
Over the summer, the Dolphins announced they would be fining players and suspending them for up to four games if they knelt during the anthem, as Sports Illustrated reported. The team came up with that in response to the policy the league put in place in May, which prohibited players from kneeling.
However, later in July, the NFL and NFL Players Association put that new policy on hold as the two sides hoped to come to an agreement on a different policy, according to the league’s website.
The boycotting of the league by police unions should come as no surprise. After all, last season fans burned jerseys, restaurants refused to show games, stadium workers quit their jobs, sponsors pulled ads, and police officers refused to work games.
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Now, the league can add another group to the list of people who are unhappy with them over their messy and incomprehensible national anthem stance.
Tom Joyce is a freelance writer from the South Shore of Massachusetts. He covers sports, pop culture, and politics and has contributed to The Federalist, Newsday, and other outlets.