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Cleveland police plan on protesting NFL national anthem demonstrations by boycotting anthem
September 21 2017, 09:15 | Van Peters
Cleveland police, EMS unions refuse to hold flag at game after Browns players kneel
This isn't the first time the Cleveland police union has been mad at the Browns organization.
The head of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association says that they have decided not to hold part of the very big American flag as part of the pregame ceremony at the Browns' Sept. 10 opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
"As a veteran of Operation Desert Storm and the United States Navy, and a 24-year veteran of the Cleveland Police Department, I am not going to participate or work with management that allows their players to disrespect the flag and the national anthem", Loomis told WKYC. "The fact that management was aware of what they planned on doing, that's as offensive as it can get".
"I find that completely hypocritical", Loomis told WKYC.
To be clear, "what they planned on doing" was kneeling during the National Anthem, a peaceful demonstration protected by the First Amendment. The presence of tight end Seth DeValve, one of the first white players to take a knee, had a profound impact on many who saw the protest. Loomis' anger rose after a group of Browns players knelt and prayed during the national anthem on August 21.
The Browns management expressed support for their players' protest just minutes after it happened.
"The NFL brags about how they love the military and safety forces and everything that we do for this country, but obviously they don't show it because they're not setting forth any rules about (the national anthem)", Daniel Nemeth, president of a local branch of the Cleveland Association of Rescue Employees, said. "That's why we aren't going too". The Cleveland Browns Organization has been a longtime partner of the Cleveland Division of Police, donating and assisting (many times quietly) to our Police Athletic League and hosting events with kids in the city's Muny League Football.
A spokesperson for the Cleveland Police reiterated that the Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association does not speak for the department.