The San Francisco police union boss sent a letter to the NFL and 49ers Monday denouncing quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
Kaepernick refused to stand for the pledge of allegiance during an NFL preseason game in San Francisco Friday, explaining that he would sit during the anthem to protest deteriorating race relations and perceived social injustice.
Martin Halloran, president of the San Francisco Police Officers Association, addressed his letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and 49ers CEO Jed York. Halloran blasted Kaepernick for his “ill-advised statements,” and “total lack of sensitivity towards police officers.”
Halloran took specific offense to Kaepernick’s statement that “people are on paid leave while people of color are killed.” The union head criticized Kaepernick for showing an incredible lack of knowledge regarding the profession and officer-involved shootings.
The letter describes the emotional and psychological challenges faced by officers following fatal incidents. “Some are so effected, they never return to the streets,” Halloran said. Some of these same police officers are the ones who protect the quarterback and NFL venues on game days, wrote Halloran.
The Police Association cited a number of statistics, including the 100,000 assaults on police officers that have occurred over the past year. The letter rhetorically states, “perhaps he [Kaepernick] could lend his commentary to the over 8,000 murders that African-Americans inflicted on one another in 2015.”
Halloran invited Kaepernick and any other players or employees of the NFL to visit the San Francisco Police Department Academy to partake in any of the simulations or training exercises that recruits and police officers go through to train. The goal would be to build communication and understanding. The letter concludes, “We hope your organizations [the NFL and the 49ers] choose to do the right thing and at least apologize to the many police officers Mr. Kaepernick has disrespected for no apparent reason.”
The 28 year old quarterback is guaranteed to make $11.9 million this season although he is not likely to start at quarterback and may be cut before the regular season starts. Kaepernick was once one of the most electric players to watch Sundays, but has steadily declined over the past few years. He has lost significant muscle mass following numerous surgeries, and experts predict he will be cut by the 49ers who have other options at quarterback.
You can read the full letter here.
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