Cleveland police officers had been preparing to hold a large American flag on the field while the national anthem was played before the Browns’ first regular-season game. Now they won’t, because some Browns kneeled during the anthem before preseason games.
Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association President Steve Loomis told cleveland.com that officers decided not to support the Browns because of both the players’ actions and the team’s response.
“When management allows you to do those things, then that’s on them,” Loomis said. “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.”
The Browns issued a statement saying they support both the anthem and the right of individuals to choose not to stand for the anthem.