The Cleveland police union will protest the Cleveland Browns’ recent national anthem protests by holding a flag protest of their own — a “not-holding-the-flag” protest.
Cleveland.com interviewed Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association President Steve Loomis, who complained that the Browns’ gesture before an Aug. 21 game against the New York Giants was “offensive.” (In the Browns’ most recent game against the Chicago Bears, players stood and locked arms during the national anthem.)
Loomis contends that the players’ protest of the flag was disrespectful to the sacrifices others made which allowed them to be successful in America. Moreover, he blames Browns management for the protest taking place in the first place, insisting that they permitted it.
“It just defies logic to me. The fact that management was aware of what they planned on doing, that’s as offensive as it can get,” he added.
In retaliation, members of the police union will not be holding the American flag on Sept. 10 for a ceremony ahead of the Browns’ first regular season game.
Browns Executive Vice President of Football Operations Sashi Brown told Cleveland.com that his players “mean well” and are “active and conscious about the communities they live in and what goes on around them that might be even larger than football.”
“We respect their efforts to use their platform to make some change and express themselves,” he added. “And I think for all those guys that knelt initially and then last week decided to stand — I won’t get into why they made that decision — I think they are going about it in a very responsible and thoughtful way.”
A spokesperson for the Cleveland Police reiterated that the Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association does not speak for the department.