San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick sparked a national debate about the freedom of speech after he refused to stand for The National Anthem in protest of police brutality. The debate took an ugly turn after a major law enforcement officer stated another NFL team may no longer receive protection from the police in the form of an escort if they refuse to stand for the national anthem. How patriotic, no?
The president of the International Union of Police Associations, Jeffery Bell, from the local 6020, which represents the Broward County Sheriff’s Department said, “We’ve asked the deputies and the Broward Sheriff’s Office not to do the details anymore.” Bell’s comments were directed at the Miami Dolphins due to players refusing to stand for the National Anthem.
Bell is apparently a constitutional scholar and offered his interpretation of the freedom of speech, ““I respect their right to have freedom of speech. However, in certain organizations and certain jobs you give up that right of your freedom of speech temporary while you serve that job or while you play in an NFL game. I can only imagine the public outcry if a group of police officers refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance or if we turned our back for the American flag for the national anthem. There would be a public outcry and internal affairs complaints a mile long on that.”
While Bell may be correct that there would be a public outcry, if officers refused to stand it is their prerogative and their expression of the freedom of speech. Merely because Bell disagrees with NFL players and their form of protest gives him absolutely no right to endanger the lives of players by refusing to protect them.
Watch Miami Dolphins players refuse to stand: