(National Sentinel)Â Consequences: Scores of off-duty Miami police officers refused to volunteer to work security at the Miami Dolphins–New York Jets football on Sunday, citing ongoing disrespect by players of the American flag, National Anthem and police in general.
Because of the ongoing protests, which officers find offensive, led to about one-third fewer officers on hand Sunday to provide security for the game,Â One America News Network reported.
“If the players are allowed to disrespect America, to choose to disrespect law enforcement, then certainly law enforcement will have the same right to decide whether or not they want to work off-duty to protect these players,” a local police spokesman told the network.
Police say about 400 officers on site for game day would be best but this past weekend, just 270 officers agreed to work the game.
Moreover, only 175 officers had volunteered to work the game; the rest had to be assigned by the department.
“The officers have a right to express themselves” as well, “and they choose this as a voluntary assignment,” said Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Giminez. “At the end of the day, though, we will have the appropriate number of officers there.
“If they have to be ordered and overtime has to be paid, then that’s the way it has to be and the Dolphins will incur the costs,” he added.
Despite being paid overtime, however, many officers nevertheless expressed their angst and frustration at having to work the game anyway, the network reported. They see the protests as specifically targeting police officers, given that many players said they are following the example of former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who began protesting alleged racism and brutality towards people of color by police last year.
“This whole ‘movement’ started against police officers, and then its morphed into disrespecting the American flag and the country,” the police spokesman said.
Dade County police said the ongoing resentment towards officers and the country could become a bigger problem for the Dolphins moving forward if the protesting continues, which is likely.
Officers’ protests are also spreading around the league. Last month the Cleveland Police Union refused to hold the flag on the field during a pregame ceremony for a game involving the Cleveland Browns, saying the ongoing progrests are “offensive and ignorant.”
As for the Dolphins, team officials say officers’ refusal to provide security for games means they will have to hire private security firms which will add to overall costs at a time when game viewership and advertising revenues are already taking a hit.
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