Police officers are being asked by their unions not to purchase Miami Dolphins tickets after members of the football team protested during the national anthem on Thursday night.
Dolphins players Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson kneeled and Robert Quinn raised his fist during the national anthem before their preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Thursday.
The Palm Beach County Police Benevolent Association released a statement on its Facebook page on Friday, asking their members to not buy Dolphins tickets. If members already did so, the association suggested they call the Dolphins for a ticket refund.
"The Palm Beach County PBA recently offered our members discounts to a Miami Dolphins game because the franchise said they were going to honor all first responders. We entered into this partnership with the understanding that the Dolphins organization would require their players to stand for the National Anthem. This did not happen at last night preseason game against Tampa Bay. 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. If you have already purchased tickets to this game, we encourage you to call the Dolphins ticket office to request a refund because this organization obviously does not honor First Responders and the dangers they put themselves in every day."
The Broward County Police Benevolent Association released a similar statement on its Facebook page as well on Friday.
In May, NFL owners voted to settle the national anthem debate by removing a requirement for players to be on the field during the national anthem.
Under the new rule, players and team personnel need to stand and "show respect for the flag and the Anthem" when on the field. Anyone who chooses to not stand for the anthem can stay in the locker room. Teams will be fined by the league if someone does not "show respect" and can choose to punish their players as well.
The NFLPA filed a grievance challenging the NFL's new anthem policy on July 10. Nine days later, the NFL and NFLPA released a joint statement saying that the two parties had reached "a standstill agreement" over the matter.
After players protested Thursday night, the NFL released a statement to say that the league's anthem policy is still on hold during discussions with the NFLPA.