Cleveland police refuse to carry flag at Brown’s game in National Anthem counter-protest
Police officers in Cleveland, OH are upset about some Cleveland Browns players’ decision to protest the National Anthem at a recent preseason game. To respond, they’ve decided to not appear at the stadium with the U.S. flag as a form of counter protest before the team’s first game on Sept. 10.
It’s just ignorant for someone to do that,” Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association President Steve Loomis told 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.”
Loomis and his supporters have made the mistake of assuming the players criticism of the system that repeatedly kills people of color, often through police use of deadly force, as something to take offense to.
“As an organization, we have a profound respect for our country’s National Anthem, flag and the servicemen and servicewomen in the United States and abroad,” a Browns spokesman said in a statement to clarify. “We feel it’s important for our team to join in this great tradition and special moment of recognition, at the same time we also respect the great liberties afforded by our country, including the freedom of personal expression.”
Still, Loomis feels that the team “allowing” players to protest is the highest form of disrespect and shouldn’t be considered, yet alone tolerated. Because players clearly can’t speak for themselves for some reason.
“When management allows you to do those things, then that’s on them,” Loomis said. “It’s hypocritical of the Browns management and ownership to want to have an armed forces first-responder day, and have us involved in it when they allow their players to take a knee during the national anthem. That’s the very representation of what we stand for. That’s why we aren’t going to.”
Fortunately, a Cleveland police spokesperson released a statement saying that Loomis’ stance doesn’t speak for the entire police department which is still trying to regain public trust after the killing of Tamir Rice.