A Louisiana sheriff’s department is hitting the Ford Motor Company in the wallet and refusing to buy new Ford police cruisers because the carmaker announced its support of the NFL’s national anthem protests.
This season, as the national anthem protests spread across the entire league instead of remaining with a small handful of players like it did last year, Ford put out a statement in support of the protests.
“We respect individuals’ rights to express their views, even if they are not ones we share. That’s part of what makes America great,” Ford said in a September 25 statement.
But in a new letter to Hixson Ford of Alexandria, Louisiana, Sheriff Julian Whittington of the Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office said his department will no longer purchase Ford cars for his fleet of police cruisers and other service vehicles. Whittington said the decision was a direct result of the carmaker’s support of the anti-American protests, Automotive News reported.
“Ford has been a part of American history, and has stood for American values,” Sheriff Whittington wrote. “However, the recent events surrounding the NFL, its players and their audacity to thumb their collective noses at the American Flag, the American military as well as their obvious disdain for the profession of law enforcement in general; forces me to take a stand.”
The department also posted a Facebook message to alert members of the community about their stance saying, “Bossier Sheriff Refuses to Support Those Who Show Disrespect.”
In the Facebook post, Sheriff Whittington called on other law enforcement agencies to take a stand against Ford and “the disrespectful National Football League.”
“The recent events surrounding the NFL, its players and their audacity to thumb their collective noses at the American flag, the American military as well as the obvious disdain for the profession of law enforcement in general forces me to take a stand.”
“NFL players have the right to protest as they deem necessary, but we, the Bossier Sheriff’s Office and the taxpayers of Bossier Parish have a right to spend our money elsewhere.”
The Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office has reportedly spent quite a lot on Ford vehicles in the recent past. According to the Shreveport Times, the department spent just over $747,000 on Ford vehicles last year.
After its announcement, the sheriff’s office reported that the owner of Hixson Ford said he would take the sheriff’s letter to Ford’s headquarters in Detroit to let the company know of the discontent over its support of the NFL.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston