Kirsters Baish| Police officers in Miami have made it very clear that if the Miami Dolphins are going to kneel during the National Anthem, they are going to have to find their own security. Police officers aren’t going to stand for such ridiculousness anymore.
The Miami Herald reported that there were numerous off-duty police officers who would normally offer to work during Sunday’s game at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, but decided not to. About one third less than the usual amount of cops to be more specific. Officers decided to decline the detail after the Miami Dolphins made it clear that they would not be standing for the National Anthem. The blatant disrespect was enough to turn these officers away.
John Rivera, Dade County Police Benevolent Association President, explained before the game started that police presence would be “the minimal amount where they feel safe, but I don’t think they’re going to have the ideal amount.”
It was reported that only 270 officers from the Miami Dade Police Department were present at the game. The only reason the number was that high was because they FORCED off-duty police officers to come by paying them overtime. In the past, the department has been able to get volunteers to work the games, despite the fact that volunteer pay isn’t very much. The Washington Examiner reported that only 175 officers offered their services for the off-duty work this Sunday during the game.
According to Rivera, the “ideal” number of officers would have actually been closer to around 400 in a game against Sunday’s opponents, the New York Jets. There are usually a decent number of fights between opposing teams’ fans at a game of this magnitude. Law enforcement usually needs to step in.
The trouble all started on Thursday when radio host Andy Slater went on air saying that because of the anthem protests of players on the Dolphins such as Kenny Stills, Julius Thomas, and Michael Thomas, the police department was frantically searching for officers to work Sunday’s game.
Rivera also sent Slater an email that read, “Working the game, or not working the game, is a personal choice and has at the very least the same level of freedom these ‘entertainers’ claim to express. They irony of all this is that they disrespect the very officers that are there to protect them, the team owners and the property they own. But then again, hypocrisy seems to be rampant these days.”
It seems pretty counter-productive for NFL players to protest police officer when they need them for protection. Maybe they really didn’t think this one through entirely.
A spokesperson with the department stated on Thursday, “Public safety is the top priority of the Miami-Dade Police Department. We take great pride in coordinating off-regular duty police services for special events in Miami-Dade County and are working diligently on our operational plan for Sunday’s NFL game. Any shortfall in volunteer officers does not necessarily indicate that the game will result in less safety. We are weighing alternate options with our law enforcement and security partners to accomplish the desired outcome.”
Maybe there wasn’t really even a reason to worry about security. After all, not many fans showed up for the game and tweets like this one got sent out following the game:
NFL fans are sick and tired of their favorite pastime turning into a political tool. These players should really stop before they lose their ENTIRE fanbase and any chance at good security, not to mention all respect from Americans.