Police officers in South Florida are being encouraged by their unions to avoid supporting the Miami Dolphins after two of their players knelt for the anthem at the preseason opener last week. The Broward County Police Benevolent Association and the Palm Beach County Police Benevolent Association posted messages on Facebook asking law enforcement officers and other first responders not to buy tickets to see the Dolphins until the players could show some respect for the (other) boys in blue.
“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,” the union wrote. “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 message continued, “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.”
In the first game of the preseason, Dolphins players Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson answered the question looming among the NFL fandom: Would disgruntled black players bring their controversial anthem protests into yet another season? The answer was a decided yes.
“Being a part of this protest hasn’t been easy,” Stills told reporters. “I thought I was going to be by myself out there. Today I had an angel with me with Albert being out there. I’m grateful he sees what’s happening, and he wants to do something about it as well.”
Once upon a time, we were saddened to see the NFL brand take such a hit based on the actions of a few players. No more. The league has had plenty of time to get their house in order and they have refused to take the steps necessary to do so. As it stands now, Roger Goodell, the NFL brass, the team owners, and the players’ union are all complicit in this mess, no matter how few or how many players actually take a knee. The league as a whole is disrespecting police, vets, and anyone else who actually loves this country every time they turn on the cameras and play the game so many millions of Americans love.
If the entire NFL goes down in flames, frankly, everyone involved will deserve it.