South Florida Police Union Asks Members Not To Buy Dolphins Tickets After Players Protest National Anthem

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Members of a South Florida police union are reportedly being asked not to purchase tickets to Miami Dolphins games, following the national anthem protests that took place on Thursday before a preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

According to a report from Sports Illustrated, the Palm Beach County Police Benevolent Association posted a bulletin on its Facebook page, requesting that its members do not purchase Dolphins tickets, or to request a refund from the team if they had previously bought tickets to the team’s upcoming games. As quoted by Sports Illustrated, the union’s statement started out by explaining that it offered member discounts to Dolphins games because of the team’s promise to “honor all first responders” and because it had an understanding that the organization would require its players to stand for the national anthem.

“This did not happen at last night preseason game against Tampa Bay,” the statement continued.

“As a result, the Palm Beach County PBA will no longer participate in this ticket program, and we are asking all our members, as well members of the Dade Country Police Benevolent Association and the Broward County Police Benevolent Association, not to participate either.”

Sports Illustrated added that another South Florida police union, the Broward County Police Benevolent Association, issued a similar member’s bulletin via Facebook on Friday, using almost the same language. Unlike the Palm Beach County PBA’s statement, which appears to have been pulled from its Facebook page, the Broward County PBA post remains live as of this writing.

The latest anthem controversy took place on Thursday when Miami Dolphins wide receivers Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson kneeled and defensive end Robert Quinn raised his fist during the singing of the “Star-Spangled Banner.” The three Dolphins became the latest in a series of NFL players who have performed such gestures since former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick first kneeled during the pre-game national anthem in 2016.

Following several months of debate on whether NFL players should stand for the national anthem or not, NFL owners voted in May to remove this requirement for players and other team employees, but with the catch that everyone on the field should “show respect for the flag and anthem.” Failure to show appropriate respect, per this policy, would result in teams getting fined, with team officials having the option to punish offending players or not.

After the NFL Players Association filed a grievance last month to challenge the league’s anthem policy changes, both sides came to a “standstill agreement” on July 19, one where there would be “no new rules” regarding the national anthem while “confidential” discussions between the NFL and the NFLPA continued. The NFL issued a statement on Thursday night after the Miami Dolphins-Tampa Bay Buccaneers game, reaffirming that the anthem policy is “still on hold.”