Given all that’s going on today, is this a fight in which police want to engage?
Police Express Outrage Over NFL Anthem Protests.
On September 21st, the “The Washington Post reports some members of law enforcement are expressing their outrage over protests in the NFL that involve ‘kneel[ing] during the national anthem to draw attention to unfair treatment of minorities.’ The Post says some police officers are offering a direct response to the protest saying, ‘If you don’t respect our flag, we won’t work security for your games.’
“IACP President Chief Terry Cunningham is quoted saying, ‘I think that what the players are doing is disgusting…American soldiers laid down their lives to protect their right to protest, which I understand. But find a respectful way to do it, don’t do it during the national anthem.'”
I understand how matters of flag and patriotism can get many police upset. But then there’s the personal versus the professional approach. An individual police officer or chief might be angered by one group or another, or a politician or activist group like “Black Lives Matter,” but a professional does not threaten to withhold his or her services to the community or any person based on personal preferences.
When this happens it tends to reinforce some folk’s stereotypes of police. What I would have liked the president of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (of which I am a life member) to say something like this:
“While many of us in policing may find disrespect to our flag or national anthem repugnant, we, as professional police officers, remain committed to serve everyone — even those who take disrespectful or unpatriotic public actions that are within the color of law.”
More recently this has been a trend that has involved many sports at the collegiate and high school levels.