Since the preseason opener for the Miami Dolphins, where three players, Albert Wilson, Kenny Stills, and Robert Quinn, kneeled/raised fists during the national anthem, the protests have been met with criticism from local police.
The Broward County PBA and the Palm Beach County Police Benevolent Association urged its members on social media to boycott a partnership that offered members discounts to games, an agreement it said was predicated on an “understanding that the Dolphins organization would require their players to stand” for the anthem.
“Anybody that disrespects the flag during the national anthem is personally offensive to me, having spent four years of my life six months in the Persian Gulf and having friends that have died while serving in the military,” Rod Skirvin, vice president of the Broward County Police Benevolent Association, told ABC News in a telephone interview Sunday.
“It’s not just a slap in the face to our military past and present but to all law enforcement officers across the country.”
Colin Kaepernick told NFL Media in a 2016 pre-season game, “I realize that men and women of the military go out and sacrifice their lives and put themselves in harm’s way for my freedom of speech my freedom to take a seat or take a knee,” Kaepernick said, “so I have the utmost respect for them.”
Pushing this narrative of players protesting the anthem and disrespecting the flag, ignores the fact that Black men have died at the hands of police in South Florida. Also, a database exists of police-related deaths nationwide.
Trump, who also has supported this narrative, recently tweeted that players don’t know why they’re protesting, but April Ryan challenged in a June press conference whether the president even knows why the players are protesting.
She stated military personnel of color have even said the White House should address police shootings.
Some have argued that privilege is being used to erase the experiences of people of color:
Aaron Rogers from Green Bay Packers, has said: “You know, people have their opinion you shouldn’t do it during the anthem, you shouldn’t do it during this that’s fine. But let’s not take away from what the real issue is.”
Philadelphia mayor Jim Kenney said after the Eagles were disinvited from the White House, Trump is trying to control citizens who are protesting because of their difference experiences in this country. Kenney said the only reason he can put his hand over his heart during the anthem is because he’s a white male with privilege and has not had those experiences.