CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - As the Cleveland Browns kick off their season against the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Cleveland Police Union is looking to stay on the sidelines.
Some players protested by taking a knee during the national anthem of a preseason game. In response, the police union says it won't voluntarily participate in Sunday's opening ceremonies.
There's so much going on here, but what I can say is this: Chief Calvin Williams' response was a great one. Williams said his officers will continue to salute the flag, but they also will protect the rights of all citizens to express their views as stipulated under the First Amendment.
I think that's what matters most. While I'd prefer people would want to stand during the national anthem -- if everyone has to stand whether they want to or not, then is it really a show of respect?
In the end, we have a group of people who are upset by the actions of another group of people and are taking a stand to bring attention to the situation – something that's well within their right to do but something that some people still might not agree with. They have a right to their speech, but not protection from consequences or public disapproval.
Am I talking about the football players who knelt or am I talking about the police union? Our Constitution tells us that answer doesn't really matter.