When San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick decided to sit down during the National Anthem, his peaceful protest incited an unforeseen backlash across the country. When Kaepernick sat down during the anthem, he stood up for the Black Lives Matter movement in order to speak up against racial injustice and police brutality in America.
As can be expected, the police do not like this. In response, the Santa Clara Police Department, which is the primary law enforcement agency responsible for keeping Levi’s Stadium, where the 49ers play, threatens to withdraw from their duty…
In a letter written by a representative of the police union and sent to the 49ers, the union warns the football team that if they don’t force Kaepernick to stand during the National Anthem, “it could result in police officers choosing not to work at your facilities.”
Santa Clara Police has effectively threatened to stop protecting and serving their community if Kaepernick’s protest isn’t stopped.
Working at Levi’s Stadium is a voluntary opportunity that about 70 Santa Clara police officers choose to do because they get to watch the football game for free. Plus, they get paid as security personnel. But now they’d rather let the stadium descend into chaos than keep the peace.
“I’m already hearing it this week that next week on Monday Night Football, some officers are not going to work,” said Frank Saunders, president of the Santa Clara Police Officers’ Association.
Police have threatened to boycott the opening game of regular season play on September 12. But is the union just bluffing?
Since about two thirds of the officers who work at Levi’s Stadium come from Santa Clara, officers from other departments would be given the opportunity to work the game if they decide to not show up. But Sanders hopes to use his union contract to make this hard for the team.
On the other hand, Santa Clara Police Chief Michael Sellers urges his officers to avoid the boycott because the community’s safety should come first.
“The safety of our community is out highest priority,” Sellers said in a statement, reports USA Today. “I will urge the POA leadership to put the safety of our citizens first. I will work with both sides to find a solution. In the meantime, I will ensure we continue to provide a safe environment at Levi’s Stadium.”
Sellers respects Kaepernick’s right to free speech. He encourages his officers and all other across the country to respect all citizen’s rights. It does not matter if you agree with them or not.
Besides sitting down during the anthem, Kaepernick made headlines when he spoke up about police brutality stating that cops “murder minorities.”
Meanwhile, Santa Clara’s union leader Saunders hopes to take the 49ers and Kaepernick down with the boycott.
“The 49ers are allowing this to come out from an employee and it’s making for a hostile work environment for us at the stadium,” Saunders said.
Do you think the cops should boycott the game because of Kaepernick?
Please JOIN THE DISCUSSION in the comments below!