Steve Loomis, Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association president, announced on Saturday that the Cleveland police officers union will not participate in the flag ceremony prior to the Browns' home opener next Sunday. The reason for their decision to turn down the patriotic duty of holding the American flag during the playing of the national anthem is because several Browns players held a protest of their own, just days after the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
"When management allows you to do those things, then that's on them," Loomis said, per cleveland.com. "It's hypocritical of the Browns management and ownership to want to have an armed forces first-responder day, and have us involved in it when they allow their players to take a knee during the national anthem. That's the very representation of what we stand for. That's why we aren't going to."
Loomis's remarks are yet another example of people having tunnel vision when it comes to these national anthem protests. Instead of getting all caught up in players "disrespecting" the flag, what about looking into why they are staging these protests in the first place?
In the Browns' case, it wouldn't take long to discover that the players involved in the protest were working towards presenting a united front in response to a white nationalist rally that looked to divide a nation more than it already is. It's an honorable and heroic act, but people like Loomis can only see a national anthem protest as being strictly black and white.
Go ahead and do what you have to do, Cleveland police officers union. Someone has to be the bigger man, and apparently it's going to be the people in cleats and pads who still show up week in and week out for the playing of the national anthem.
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