The decision of the police union to cut security escorts for Dolphins players because of anthem protests hints there are new freedom of speech limitations.
A free nation like ours shouldn’t be having the kind of social problems we regularly have. Freedom of speech is for everyone, not for some people, not for whites only, but for every citizen of the U.S. This brings up the question, why do Blacks have to suffer a backlash from the police for peacefully protesting the oppression African-Americans face in this country?
The rate at which Black people are harassed, humiliated and discriminated against is unbelievably high. Some sportsmen seem to have had enough and are voicing their concerns. Isn’t that one of the reasons why freedom of speech is important? It’s a right everyone has, and Black people are exercising that right in order to gain social justice and stop the oppression.
Following the protest of four sportsmen, Arian Foster, Michael Thomas, Jelani Jenkins and Kenny Stills, who knelt down during the National Anthem in the game against the Seattle Seahawks last Sunday, NFL players for the Dolphins got a warning from the police. The Broward County Sheriff’s union called for the end of police escorts for the Dolphins team, until the players opt to stand during the anthem.
In a letter sent Friday, Jeffery Bell claimed the players were blatantly disrespectful to the American Flag. He said: “As a law enforcement union, we certainly encourage people to exercise their constitutional right of freedom of speech. However, in certain professions, an individual’s freedom of speech must take a back seat to the organization or government entity that they choose to represent.”
Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has since stated his support for his players. “I don’t think it was any lack of respect,” Ross stated. “I think everybody here, our team and our whole organization, respects the flag and what it stands for, the soldiers and everything. These guys are really making a conversation of something that’s a very important topic in this country and I’m 100 percent supportive of them,” he said.
Here is a full statement, where Bell claims police officers are at risk for protecting the players. He stated:
“The Broward Sheriff’s Office Deputies Association Local 6020 is seeking the immediate termination of all Miami Dolphin escorts until such time the Miami Dolphins and the National Football League set forth a policy that will not tolerate the disrespect of the American Flag and National Anthem during any sanctioned games or events. We no longer support an organization that values financial profit over a minimum conduct standard. What good is it to ask singers to sing the national anthem, honor guards to perform services or ask the United States Air Force to conduct flyovers during the National Anthem if the same organization will not even set a minimum code of conduct for its players? Until further notice, I respectfully ask all members of law enforcement not to work any detail associated with the Miami Dolphins unless ordered to do so.”