Police in Santa Clara are the ones who provide security for the home games of the 49ers with usually about 70 of their officers. But their union has said they are not certain they want to continue to protect a team that is willing to put up with one of the team members (Colin Kaepernick) criticizing police for what they feel amounts in many cases to doing the job they have been tasked to do. Kaepernick has made his very public stand, or rather sit, at a couple of the team’s games now and has vowed to continue sitting through the National Anthem in the regular season games as well.
The National Anthem
Santa Clara’s Chief of Police, Michael Sellers, urged his officers and the Police Officer’s Union to reconsider their stand. Part of the job of policing is recognizing the rights granted under the Constitution. As deplorable as Kaepernick’s choice may seem to many, he still has the right to make his feelings known by sitting during the National Anthem. It’s his way of protesting what he considers unacceptable actions by police within the United States as has been made an issue by groups supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.
It’s a polarizing cause. Very few people in the U.S. don’t have an opinion on the choice Kaepernick makes. Kaepernick seems sincere in his stand, though some may suggest he’s misguided and the sensibilities on which he relies are not based in fact, but rather emotion. Nonetheless, he plans on donating the first million dollars he makes this year to support inner city efforts to help make things better. He’ll be speaking this Sunday at the Third Baptist Church in San Francisco, a congregation known for activism related to civil rights.
Rev. Amos Brown of that congregation confirmed when he said: “We had a long conversation. He [Kaepernick] stated his serious opposition to racial oppression and violence in this country, and he’s willing to stay true to his conviction. He’s interested in taking this to the next level.”
The Police Union
The Police Union sent a letter to the 49ers saying that Kaepernick’s “inappropriate behavior threatened our harmonious working relationship.” Unfortunately, police officers everywhere face this issue more and more. The very people protesting against them are the ones they are sent to safeguard and secure. Guarding the freedoms of this great nation sometimes becomes a bitter pill to swallow, but because the vast majority of our police force serves with the intention of protecting and serving, they do what is necessary, protecting the rights of everyone. It’s not a new concept; it has been seen in almost every generation for decades.
What too often is forgotten in the mixture – Freedom is NOT free, it always comes with a price. Those who serve, and the people that love them, know that price intimately. No one is perfect, but the security we enjoy, whether sitting or standing during the National Anthem, is in large part protected by a police force. They deserve respect for the job they do