Miami-Dade police union president speaks out against Dolphins anthem protests

MIAMI GARDENS, FLA. (WSVN) - The president of Miami-Dade County’s Police Benevolent Association has spoken out regarding Miami Dolphins football players who refuse to stand for the National Anthem.

“I almost get the sense that they’re doing it for notoriety, not even for the cause,” said Miami-Dade PBA president John Rivera.

Rivera said that recently, a number of officers have come to him with concern over the anthem controversy.

Rivera sent out an email to all officers county-wide, Thursday. The email read, in part, “I can think of few things that disgust me as much as the players’ acts of disrespect.”

Rivera also wrote in the email, “Working the game, or not working the game, is a personal choice and has at the very least the same level of freedom these ‘entertainers’ claim to express. The irony of all this is that they disrespect the very officers that are there to protect them…”

“Law enforcement does a good job each and every day, and we need to stand by them, not stand divided against them,” said Rivera.

The Dolphins play the Jets at Hard Rock Stadium on Sunday.

Normally, close to 300 officers would work the off-duty detail, but Rivera said some officers have already told him they won’t work the game.

When asked if there were safety concerns in light of this news, the Dolphins responded by saying, “Safety is the first priority, and the game will be fully staffed.”

Dolphins defensive end Cameron Wake said in a news conference, “I think, in order to be good at what we do, playing football, handling distractions should probably be one of the top two or three things in your job description.”

The Miami-Dade Police Department also released a statement that said in part, “Any shortfall in volunteer officers does not necessarily indicate that the game will result in less safety. We are weighing alternate options with our law enforcement and security partners to accomplish the desired outcome.”

Rivera estimated that anywhere from 100 to 150 officers will choose not to work the game on Sunday.

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