The Cleveland police union will not take part in the Browns’ pregame flag-holding ceremony prior to its Week 1 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers next Sunday.
Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association President Steve Loomis said that the National Anthem protest led by multiple members of the Browns during the preseason will force his officers from sitting out the ceremony. He also didn’t mince words when it came to the Browns organization’s support of the protests.
“It’s just ignorant for someone to do that,” Loomis said, via Cleveland.com. “It just defies logic to me. The fact that management was aware of what they planned on doing, that’s as offensive as it can get.”
Prior to the team’s August 21st game against the New York Giants, at least nine Browns players took a knee for the anthem. The scene itself was more solidarity with one another, as the group formed a circle with one another.
Following the protest, the Browns’ organization released a statement throwing support behind their players.
“We respect their efforts to use their platform to make some change and express themselves,” Browns VP Sashi Brown said back in August, via Cleveland.com. “And I think for all those guys that knelt initially and then last week decided to stand — I won’t get into why they made that decision — I think they are going about it in a very responsible and thoughtful way. I’m actually proud of them.”
Regardless of the Browns’ stance, we can definitely see why those tasked with serving and protecting would take issue with holding up a flag the players themselves are seemingly protesting.
This is a situation that will keep coming up as the Colin Kaepernick-led national anthem protests continue to grow in numbers as the 2017 regular season gets going.