The Broward County Police Benevolent Association is calling on its union members — as well as all South Florida police officers— to boycott the Miami Dolphins and the National Football League.
The move comes after the Dolphins faced the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a preseason game Thursday night at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. Dolphins receivers Albert Wilson and Kenny Stills protested the national anthem by kneeling. Defensive end Robert Quinn did not kneel, but he raised his right arm with a clenched fist.
The players are part of a growing number of athletes who have used that moment to protest police brutality and racial inequality, something Broward PBA Vice President Rod Skirvin called “disrespectful and disgusting.”
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“It’s a slap in the face,” Skirvin told the Miami Herald on Saturday. “We have a lot of police officers in the county who are ex-military. It’s not just a slap in the face to our military — past and present— but to all law enforcement officers across the country. As long as the protest continues, we will protest our attendance at the Dolphins games and continue to stay away from the NFL and its products.“
The Miami Dolphins did not immediately return a request for comment.
A few weeks ago, the NFL invited South Florida police unions to a game in November slated to honor first responders. According to Skirvin, the Broward PBA accepted the invitation because the NFL had announced in May that protesting during the anthem would be against policy.
However, the NFL changed course last month and said players wouldn’t be penalized, putting their new policy on hold.
After Thursday’s game, the police union posted this statement on Facebook:
“We entered into this partnership with the understanding that the Dolphins organization would require their players to stand for the national anthem. This did not happen at [Thursday’s] preseason game against Tampa Bay. As a result, the BCPBA will no longer participate in this ticket program, and we are asking all of our members, as well as members of the Dade County PBA and Palm Beach County PBA, not to participate either. If you have already purchased tickets to this game, we encourage you to call the Dolphins ticket office to request a refund because this organization obviously does not honor first responders and the dangers they put themselves in every day.”
In an email to the NFL, the union said it would re-evaluate its position if the league changes its policy on dealing with players who kneel during the National Anthem.