In a complete reversal from last week, the unions representing the Cleveland Police Department and EMT’s, have decided to go ahead and participate in an opening day flag ceremony with the Cleveland Browns, a report says.
Last week Cleveland Police and EMT’s decided to boycott a proposed pregame flag ceremony after a group of nearly a dozen Browns players knelt during the national anthem. Union President Daniel Nemeth said that the anthem protest “hit home” with him because he is a veteran and it disgusted him that the players had disrespected the flag.
At the time, police union President Steve Loomis agreed and noted that he had heard from many officers angry over the Browns’ actions.
Now, after a week of discussions, it appears that Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams has determined that officers will participate in the ceremony.
On September 14, the chief met with Browns player Christian Kirksey, Ibraheim Campbell, Seth DeValve, Randall Telfer, Jamie Collins and Ricardo Louis, to discuss ways to cooperate and improve relations between the team and the city’s emergency services.
Despite initially refusing to participate in the Browns’ flag event, police union chief Steve Loomis said the meeting changed his mind. Loomis described the gathering as a place “where tough issues were respectfully discussed, and viewpoints exchanged,” according to Pro Football Talk.
Putting a positive spin on his about face, Loomis said, “Once again Cleveland has risen above the fray and has demonstrated that respectful communication is the key to solving any problem. We can always accomplish much more good by standing, communicating and working together than we ever will by standing apart.”
The Browns said that players agreed to participate in ride-a-long’s with officers and to attend community events to better understand the work that Cleveland’s Finest perform.
While this all sounds like a giant public relations success, it’s enormously disappointing that the police and EMT unions didn’t stick to their guns and follow through on the boycott. Unless the Browns promised to end all anthem protests, there’s no way this doesn’t come off looking like what it is, a massive cave.
Going on a police ride-a-long and going to bake sales is all well and good. However, there’s no substitute for the incredibly powerful message that could have, and should have been sent here. A message delivered by police officers standing up for their brethren and not allowing the NFL to continue their duplicitous practice of celebrating America, the flag, the military, the police, and everything that makes this great land what it is. While simultaneously turning around and allowing their spoiled, ungrateful employees to soil all of those institutions with wildly false generalizations, and accusations of racism.
The next time a police or emergency service union decides to stand-up to the NFL and their army of pampered social justice warriors, make sure your ready to follow through. Otherwise, smile for the camera, wave the flag next to people who loathe everything it stands for, and just go through the motions. At the very least, that will spare us the massive disappointment of once again having to watch good people cave to the racial activism of those who want to destroy everything we stand for.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.