Miami Dolphins players Arian Foster, Michael Thomas, Jelani Jenkins and Kenny Stills took a knee during the national anthem of their season-opening game on Sunday Sept. 11 against the Seattle Seahawks. The controversial protest ruffled more than a few feathers, with some fans even going so far as to burn jerseys, according to the Miami Herald.
Now, the players’ decision not to stand during the national anthem has taken another turn as Broward County deputies are taking a stand of their own in anticipation of the Dolphins’ first home game of the season against the Cleveland Browns.
The Broward Sheriff’s Office union is requesting that team-sponsored police escorts cease until every player on the NFL team stands for the national anthem. “We’ve asked the deputies and the Broward Sheriff’s Office not to do the details anymore,” said Jeffery Bell, the president of the International Union of Police Associations, Local 6020.
In what some might consider a contradictory statement, Bell argued that the right to freedom of speech is not a universal one.
“I respect their right to have freedom of speech. However, in certain organizations and certain jobs you give up that right of your freedom of speech temporary while you serve that job or while you play in an NFL game,” Bell said.
Deadspin reported that the Dolphins issued a statement encouraging all members of the organization to stand for the national anthem, but also recognized “an individual’s right to reflect during the anthem in different ways.”