Following the action of Colin Kaepernick, several other professional, college and even high school athletes are deciding not to stand when the national anthem is played at the beginning of games. At least two police organizations have responded by saying that police should not provide protection to these folks and one opined that pro football players do not have the right to demonstrate in this way when they are part of a team.
I think these reactions show a general pattern of rigid and erroneous thinking among those who chose to be policemen. Being a policeman faced each day with the potential for violence against them and needing to deal with people who are disrespectful to them is hard work. We do not support the police adequately in terms of salary and benefits. The police, however, need to understand and accept legitimate, non-violent demonstrations of opinion with which they may not agree. It is the police who do not get to choose those that they want to protect and those that they don’t. It is interesting that a veteran’s group came out in support of Kaepernick’s actions but this had no effect on a local police group’s response.