CLE Police Union: Officers Won't Take Part in Browns Games After Players Kneel for Anthem
The head of Cleveland, Ohio's police union and its Emergency Medical Services union said they won't participate in Colors before upcoming Browns football games after about a dozen starters knelt for the National Anthem last week.
Several Cleveland Browns were pictured kneeling during the Star-Spangled Banner, while a smattering of other starters remained standing.
According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Browns tight end Seth DeValve, running back Isaiah Crowell, safety Jabrill Peppers, wide receiver Kenny Britt, as well as Duke Johnson, Christian Kirksey, Jamie Collins, Ricardo Louis and Jamar Taylor knelt in a huddle near the team bench.
Detective Steve Loomis, president of the police union, said they weren't protesting the players personally, or their right to freedom of speech.
"We're not going to participate in something with the Cleveland Browns when the management and NFL [front office] condones this behavior.
Loomis blasted Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams, who he said accepted the players' decision to kneel.
Williams said the decision to boycott gametime festivities was "simply not the viewpoint of all of our officers."
"Calvin Williams is not in touch with reality," Loomis said. "They're absolutely with us."
EMS Union chief Dan Nemeth said the players' decision was "deeply disturbing," and added that as athletes that children look up to, those particular Browns should "set the example for our youth."
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