Sheriff: Protecting the public includes Miami Dolphins protesting during the national anthem

BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. — Despite the Broward County Sheriff’s Office Deputies Association’s call to end all law enforcement details for Miami Dolphins games, Sheriff Scott Israel said they will continue.

International Union of Police Associations, Local 6020 President Jeff Bell called for the boycott after Dolphins players started protesting by kneeling during the national anthem at games.

The gesture was started by San Francisco 49ers backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick to protest what he perceives as inequality in law enforcement treatment of African-Americans.

Many other professional athletes have followed suit, including Dolphins Arian Foster, Jelani Jenkins, Kenny Stills and Michael Thomas, who knelt during the national anthem on Sept. 11 before a game against the Seattle Seahawks.

“I cannot fathom why the Miami Dolphin organization and the NFL would allow the blatant disrespect of the American Flag and what it stands for during the national anthem,” Bell said in a letter to union members. “It is a privilege to play in the NFL, not a given constitutional right.

“The Miami Dolphin players, staff and family members enjoy full police escorts from the Broward Sheriff’s Office on a regular basis – these escorts often involve putting the men and women of law enforcement agencies at risk as they block intersections during peak traffic times.”

Bell called for deputies to boycott the voluntary Dolphins games details.

“I respectfully ask all members of law enforcement not to work any detail associated with the Miami Dolphins unless ordered to do so,” he said.

In response to the call for law enforcement to boycott Dolphins games, Israel issued a statement on the Broward County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page.

"The recent protest by some Miami Dolphins players during the pregame national anthem will not interfere with BSO's job to ensure public safety at the games,” he wrote. “BSO’s job is to protect the public, ensuring both players and spectators are safe."

BROWARD SHERIFF’S OFFICE DEPUTIES ASSOCIATION LOCAL I.U.P.A 6020 September 15, 2016 To Everyone, Today, I...

Posted by Broward Sheriff's Office Deputies Association on Thursday, September 15, 2016