Things in the City by the Bay continue to get more and more interesting as the 2016 NFL regular season kickoff approaches. Will Colin Kaepernick be on the field for their games? That’s up in the air at this point, but if he’s on the bench there are some other folks who may not be in the stadium. Those would be the police who routinely work the security detail. (Fox News)
Authorities in Northern California have threatened to stop working San Francisco 49ers games in response to Colin Kaepernick sitting during the national anthem in protest of police brutality and racial injustice.
In a letter obtained by KNTV, the Santa Clara police union told the 49ers organization that officers wouldn’t work at the stadium if it doesn’t “take action” against Kaepernick over his protest. The station noted that about 70 Santa Clara police officers work eight home games per year.
“The board of directors of the Santa Clara Police Officer’s Association has a duty to protect its members and work to make all of their workings environments free of harassing behavior,” the letter added.
You can read the letter which the police union sent to the team here, and it includes a declaration that, some recent actions by a 49ers employee have threatened our harmonious working relationship. That’s a polite way of putting it.
This wouldn’t leave the stadium with zero protection since the police officers in question only make up a portion of the total security forces present at the games. Also, they’re not defying orders or violating any PD protocol if they refuse to show up. As with most municipalities, the cops working security at the stadium are there on a voluntary basis and earning some extra moonlighting money on the side. There’s no requirement for them to show up.
Reading the letter sent to the organization doesn’t really deliver all the details you might want, but it’s hard to escape the feeling that this really isn’t a pushback against BLM so much as it is Kaepernick himself. If it was just the refusal to stand for the anthem a lot of them would still be unhappy, but I’m guessing that at least some of the cops would have let it slide as a free speech issue. The straw that really broke the camel’s back here has to be the socks. You know… the ones which the QB explained were really a way of standing up for the good cops.
To be clear, I don’t want the government stepping all over the guy’s right to free speech. But his employer clearly has options and both the team and the league have a responsibility to their fans. Exercising your right to free speech always comes with the understanding that others will use their own free speech in opposition to you. But the 49ers don’t even need to turn it into an issue at this point. Keep in mind that they were trying to ink a deal back in April to send him to Denver and it probably would have happened if they could have gotten the money they needed to avoid a huge hit to their bottom line. This was well before the whole national anthem thing became an issue and the major complaints with their QB were that he was too slow coming back from various injuries and his performance just wasn’t that good.
Now, of course, finding a place to dump him would be significantly harder. Not only is he a sub-par player, but what team wants to deal with all of this protest nonsense while trying to make the playoffs? Unfortunately, his salary for 2016 and 2017 is pretty much locked in so San Francisco could lose some serious cash if they cut bait at this point.