Broward County

Deputies will still work Dolphins games despite union request

Arian Foster talks about why he's kneeling during National Anthem

Miami Dolphins running back Arian Foster talks to the media on Mon., Sept. 12, 2016 about why he decided to kneel down during the National Anthem in Sunday's season-opening game against the Seattle Seahawks.
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Miami Dolphins running back Arian Foster talks to the media on Mon., Sept. 12, 2016 about why he decided to kneel down during the National Anthem in Sunday's season-opening game against the Seattle Seahawks.

Some Miami Dolphins’ players’ kneeling protest during pregame national anthems apparently won’t change the team’s treatment by Broward Sheriff’s Office despite a deputies’ union president’s request.

“BSO deputies will continue to work the Dolphins detail,” BSO spokesperson Veda Coleman-Wright wrote in an e-mail to the Herald.

BSO provides team-sponsored escort of team buses to the stadium from the Broward County hotel players stay at the night before home games. Also, there’s an escort to and from the airport for road games. The Dolphins, 0-2 this season after losing 31-24 at New England Sunday, play their first regular season home game in the renovated Hard Rock Cafe Stadium Sunday against also-winless Cleveland.

“I’m not surprised the administration took this stance,” International Union of Police Associations, Local 6020, President Jeff Bell said Monday afternoon. “I understand there’s a bigger picture for them. They do charity work with the Dolphins and there are other considerations. And, it’s a money maker for (BSO).”

Bell said the union, which represents many BSO deputies, would continue to ask members to eschew the detail and that he’s heard from some who will. Deputies volunteer for the paid off-duty assignment.

In a letter to membership last week, Bell responded to four Dolphins players kneeling during the national anthem before the season opener in Seattle by requesting law enforcement ditch the Dolphins’ detail.

"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. Again, I would also respectfully ask the Broward Sheriff’s Office to refuse any security details associated with the Miami Dolphins until such time the Miami Dolphin organization mandates a code of conduct for their players during all sanctioned events.”

Repeating a gesture started by San Francisco 49ers backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick during the preseason and picked up by others, Dolphins Arian Foster, Jelani Jenkins, Kenny Stills and Michael Thomas knelt in Seattle to protest inequality in law enforcement treatment of African-Americans. Three of the four repeated the gesture Sunday in New England while Jenkins stood.

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand during the national anthem to shed light on racial injustice. His actions have spread across the NFL as other players are showing signs of support.

“My phone has been ringing off the hook all weekend,” Bell said. “The vast majority are in full support of this.”

David J. Neal: 305-376-3559, @DavidJNeal

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