A day after two Dolphins players knelt during the national anthem of their preseason opener to protest social injustice, police officers in South Florida have been encouraged by their unions to not buy Dolphins tickets.
"The Broward County PBA recently offered our members discounts to a Miami Dolphins game because that franchise said they were going to honor all First Responders," the Broward County Police Benevolent Association said in a statement posted to Facebook. "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's preseason game against Tampa Bay.
"As a result, the BCPBA will no longer participate in this ticket program, and we are asking all of our members, as well as members of the Dade County PBA and Palm Beach County PBA, 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."
Dolphins wide receivers Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson were the only players to kneel during the anthem, while teammate Robert Quinn raised his fist before facing the Buccaneers. Stills said he and Wilson didn't coordinate their decision to kneel.
"It just happened that way," Stills said after the game, via the New York Times, adding that he had the support of coach Adam Gase. "When I'm on a knee, most of the time I'm praying, and thank God for having Albert next to me. Being a part of this protest hasn't been easy. I thought I was going to be by myself out there. Today I had an angel with me with Albert being out there. I'm grateful he sees what's happening, and he wants to do something about it as well."
Stills expects to protest during the regular season, and it would take "a lot" for him to stop.
"A good first step as a league would be acknowledging what they're doing to Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid," Stills said, via USAToday.com's Lindsay Jones. "You can't say as a league you support the players and the protests, but blackball the players that initially started the protests."
Kenny Stills has been awarded the Miami Dolphins' community service award two years in a row, is heavily involved in various youth organizations, was a team captain last season, has been one of Miami's most productive players and is considered a model employee by coach Adam Gase.— Jason Lieser (@JasonLieser) August 9, 2018
President Donald Trump, as he has done repeatedly since last September, wasted little time blasting those players that protested during the anthem.