Police, EMS, And Cleveland Browns To Come Together – Participate In Unity Ceremony With No Kneelers
Cleveland Browns And Police To Hold ‘Unity Ceremony’
Cleveland, OH – Cleveland police officers and emergency workers will participate in the Cleveland Browns’ first game of the season after all.
After some Cleveland Browns players kneeled during two NFL pre-season games, public outrage grew, according to The New York Post. Their refusal to stand for the national anthem, and to kneel instead, came days after violent protests in Charlottesville.
They said that when they were kneeling, that they were praying for the country, and “to help work for racial equality,” and that their actions were “misinterpreted.”
The backlash continued when Steve Loomis, president of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association, announced that members of the union would not hold the U.S. flag at Sunday’s season-opening game. Traditionally police officers and EMS union members have held a large U.S. flag after it is unfurled before the game.
Daniel Nemeth, president of ILA Local 1975, a union which consists of EMTs, paramedics, and dispatchers, had joined the police union and said his members weren’t participating, either, according to Fox News.
On Thursday, September 7, Browns players Christian Kirksey, Ibraheim Campbell, Seth DeValve, Randall Telfer, Jamie Collins, and Ricardo Louis met with the team owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam, with Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams, and with other police officers, to talk about a “neighborhood plan.”
As a result, police officers and emergency workers will run with Cleveland Browns football players onto the field together before the game. They will then all stand for the national anthem.
Tentative plans were also made for Cleveland Browns football players to do ride-alongs with police officers on patrol, and to attend community meetings to strengthen the relationship between citizens and police officers.
Browns Coach Hue Jackson said his players were doing a good thing.
He said, “…I would think that just knowing our organization, obviously, we love our country, we love our flag, we love the police department and what they do for us. They have done so much for us here, and I think that is super that we are coming together and working together for the right cause and looking forward to watching that happen on Sunday.”
Loomis said that he has accepted the Browns’ invitation and has assigned 20 officers to participate. He said that “tough issues were respectfully discussed and viewpoints exchanged” during the meeting.
He 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.”