If the Miami Dolphins aren’t going to stand for the national anthem, Miami cops aren’t going to stand for their nonsense.
According to the Miami Herald, the number of off-duty police officers willing to work Sunday’s game at Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium was about a third less than usual, thanks to officers who declined the detail — apparently, they were telling the Dolphins to take care of their own security.
Dade County Police Benevolent Association President John Rivera said prior to the game that police presence would be “the minimal amount where they feel safe, but I don’t think they’re going to have the ideal amount.”
The Miami-Dade Police Department could only muster 270 officers, and only got to that number by forcing off-duty officers to show up and paying them at an overtime rate. The department is usually able to get volunteers for the game, even though the voluntary pay isn’t as high. Only 175 officers volunteered for the off-duty work for Sunday’s game, according to the Washington Examiner.
Rivera said that an “ideal” number would be around 400 in a game featuring Sunday’s opponents, the New York Jets. Matchups between the divisional rivals apparently produce an inordinate number of fights and incidents that need to be handled by law enforcement.
“This whole movement started against police officers,” Rivera said. “And now it’s morphed into disrespecting the flag and the country.”
The first signs of trouble began brewing on Thursday, when radio host Andy Slater revealed that due to the continued national anthem protests of Dolphins players Kenny Stills, Julius Thomas and Michael Thomas, the department was scrambling to find officers to work the Sunday game.
Slater also obtained an email from Rivera, which read in part that, “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, the team owners and the property they own. But then again, hypocrisy seems to be rampant these days.”
“Public safety is the top priority of the Miami-Dade Police Department,” a spokesperson with the department said on Thursday. “We take great pride in coordinating off-regular duty police services for special events in Miami-Dade County and are working diligently on our operational plan for Sunday’s NFL game. 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.”
Perhaps there was no reason for worry in the first place: It seems that the fans thought just as highly about the Dolphins’ anthem shenanigans as the police officers did.
I guess it’s not just the officers who are offended.