The president of the union that represents members of the Broward County sheriff's department is urging deputies not to escort the team at the Miami Dolphins' home game next week unless players end their protest by kneeling during the national anthem.
"We've asked the deputies and the Broward Sheriff's Office not to do the details anymore," Jeffery Bell, the president of the International Union of Police Associations, Local 6020, told the Miami Herald.
Arian Foster and three other Dolphins players took up the protest started by Colin Kaepernick, electing to take a knee in their season opener. The Dolphins' 2016 home opener is next Sunday against the Cleveland Browns.
"I respect their right to have freedom of speech," Bell said. "However, in certain organizations and certain jobs you give up that right of your freedom of speech temporary while you serve that job or while you play in an NFL game."
The Broward sheriff's office has not replied to The Washington Post's request for comment. Nor did it reply to the Herald on Friday evening. Santa Clara police threatened a boycott at San Francisco 49ers' games, but worked the Sept. 12 opener.
"They say it's not time to do this. Then when is the time?" Foster asked. "It's never the time in someone else's eye."
Three of the four, on Friday, indicated they were planning to stand for Sunday's game in New England.
"I can only imagine the public outcry if a group of police officers refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance or if we turned our back for the American flag for the national anthem," Bell said. "There would be a public outcry and internal affairs complaints a mile long on that."
Miami-Dade police, who also provide security on game day, told the Herald they "have contractual obligations with Hard Rock Stadium to provide public safety. The safety of our residents and visitors is our primary concern."