Police, EMS Refuse to Hold Flag at Browns Opener After Players Kneel
Local police and EMS workers are not happy with a group of Cleveland Browns players who knelt during the national anthem.
As a result, according to FOX 8, the police and first responders are refusing to participate in the team's opening game ceremony.
The Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association and the ILA Local 1975, which represents dispatchers, EMTs and paramedics, informed the team that its members will not take the field to hold a large American flag.
The team opens the season at home Sept. 10 against the Steelers. Members of the military will reportedly hold the flag if the police and paramedics do not participate.
Players across the league have continued to kneel for the national anthem during the preseason, showing solidarity with free-agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
The Browns' kneel-down on Aug. 21 was the largest such demonstration so far.
— FOX 32 News (@fox32news) August 22, 2017
Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association President Steve Loomis told the station it's "hypocritical" for the team to ask police officers to help with the flag while players show disrespect on the sidelines.
Kaepernick's protest started a year ago when he said he was kneeling during the Star-Spangled Banner to protest racial injustice and shootings of minorities by police.
In the two preseason games since the kneel-down, Browns players have stood and linked arms.
Watch more from FOX 8 below.