Cleveland Police Union Refuses to Hold Flag During Browns Opening Game, Calls Players’ Protest ‘Ignorant’

Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

More police-union fuckery. Cleveland’s police union says it will not hold the American flag during a ceremony before the Cleveland Browns’ first game because some players knelt during the national anthem during the preseason.

Advertisement reports that Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association President Steve Loomis made the announcement regarding the game, which is set for Sept. 10, on Friday.


As reported previously by The Root, on Aug. 21 a dozen Browns players knelt or stood in a circle of solidarity during a preseason game against the New York Giants, including, for the first time, a white player. They also locked arms during the playing of the national anthem prior to the preseason game against the Bears on Aug. 31.

According to Loomis, doing so was “ignorant,” even though it was days after police stood by and let black people get nearly beaten to death or shot during a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va.

Loomis also told that he felt offended because players are disrespecting those who protect and serve the nation.


“It’s just ignorant for someone to do that,” said Loomis. “It just defies logic to me. The fact that management was aware of what they planned on doing, that’s as offensive as it can get.”

What defies logic to me is that police see the national anthem protest against their own brutality (guilty much?) as un-American. Also galling: the fact that players are kneeling and not sitting exactly because Colin Kaepernick, who began the peaceful protest last season, wanted to make note of said sacrifices. Kaepernick is now out of a job, prompting many to say that they will not be watching the NFL this season.


As reported by The Root, professional football players weren’t even on the field during the national anthem up until 2009. All of that good “patriotism” started when the Department of Defense shelled out millions in advertising to the NFL.

Loomis also called on the Browns’ “management” and “ownership” (i.e., the white overseers) to get these “browns” (ha!) in place.


“When management allows you to do those things, then that’s on them,” Loomis said. “It’s hypocritical of the Browns management and ownership to want to have an armed forces first-responder day, and have us involved in it when they allow their players to take a knee during the national anthem. That’s the very representation of what we stand for. That’s why we aren’t going to.”


The front office seems cool with it, though. reports that Executive Vice President of Football Operations Sashi Brown said prior to the game against the Bears that the players handled themselves well.

“Professionally, thoughtfully, probably as thoughtfully as any others have,” Brown said. “These are guys that mean well. We really push our guys to be active and conscious about the communities they live in and what goes on around them that might be even larger than football. They do that, and we support them. We respect their efforts to use their platform to make some change and express themselves. I’m actually proud of them.”


Not holding a flag to protest the sanctity of the flag. Right.


Ms. Bronner Helm is the Senior Editorial Director at Colorlines. Mouthy Black Girl. Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Fellow. Shea Butter Feminist. Virgo Sun, Aries Moon.



The thing is, what they are doing is actually disrespectful to the flag. They are refusing to honor it at all. The players are the ones who are still honoring the flag by silently kneeling during the anthem. By refusing to take part at all they are disrespecting the flag and everything it stands for, including the right to peacefully protest.

The truth of the matter is that those cops are disrespctful assholes.