Cleveland Police Union Responds to National Anthem Protest in Bold Way

Cleveland Browns players kneel during a recent anthem. More

Cleveland Browns players kneel during a recent anthem. More

However, the union chose to back out of the ceremony after 11 members of the Browns made a decision to kneel in prayer during the national anthem before the team's preseason game against the New York Giants on August 21.

While Jackson was aware that National Football League preseason games aren't credible ways of determining how a team does in the regular season, he's ecstatic nonetheless of the results, as reported by Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com.

"I think they are the ones disrespecting the flag, as opposed to the athletes", Smith argued.

The Cleveland police union will protest the national anthem in protest of national anthem protesters. And they're entitled to say what they feel just like I've always said about our players.

"A year ago we were 0-4, so these guys came back with a different mentality", said coach Hue Jackson."We understand it's just the preseason, but you've got to start someplace". The players, for what it's worth, said they had simply gathered together to pray. He told Cleveland.com he served in the U.S. Marine Corps and finds it "hypocritical" for Browns management to say they support the military while allowing players to kneel during the anthem. "And I think for all those guys that knelt initially and then last week chose to stand - I won't get into why they made that decision - I think they are going about it in a very responsible and thoughtful way. The fact that management was aware of what they planned on doing, that's as offensive as it can get", he added.

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Dan Nemeth, president of the Cleveland Association of Rescue Employees Local 1975, said he had a similar reaction to Loomis'. "We're not going to participate".

"As an organization, we have a profound respect for our country's National Anthem, flag and the servicemen and servicewomen in the United States and overseas", a team spokesman said in a statement.

While the union doesn't speak for the department, it does speak for many police officers. Our American flag is an important symbol to our great country and we, as officers, will continue to salute it.

As the Browns prepare for Sunday's season opener at home against the Pittsburgh Steelers, one of the biggest questions to be answered will be: What role will Cleveland Police play during pregame festivities?

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