Police Union Threatens Boycott Over Colin Kaepernick National Anthem Dispute

Santa Clara Police Chief Michael Sellers urged the leadership of the officers’ union to put citizens’ safety first after the security detail boycott threat.

SAN FRANCISCO – The hullabaloo caused by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and his decision not to stand during the national anthem took a new turn after local police officers sent a letter to the team threatening to boycott patrolling their stadium.

Santa Clara Police Officers Association (SCPOA), whose union members patrol Levi’s Stadium during events mostly on a volunteer basis, have threatened “choosing not to work” San Francisco 49ers home games “if the 49ers organization fails to take action to stop” his “inappropriate workplace behavior,” the police union told the 49ers organization in a letter Friday, citing a “hostile work environment.”

Santa Clara police chief Michael J. Sellers responded in a statement Saturday, vowing to work with the 49ers and the SCPOA to maintain public and police safety.

“Many of us in the law enforcement community have been saddened and angered by Kaepernick’s words and actions,” Sellers’ statement read. “His blanket statements disparaging the law enforcement profession are hurtful and do not help bring the country together.”

Kaepernick has vowed to continue to protest standing for the national anthem before games over his concern that African Americans are mistreated by police officers.

“The safety of our community is our highest priority. I will urge the [SCPOA] leadership to put the safety of our citizens first,” the police chief said. “I will work with both sides to find a solution. In the meantime, I will ensure we continue to provide a safe environment at Levi’s Stadium.”

Frank Saunders, the SCPOA president, told NBC Bay Area that about two-thirds of Levi’s Stadium game day security personnel are members from his union. Other security officers could be hired in the event of a boycott, but it might conflict with the city’s contract with the SCPOA.

“I’m already hearing it this week that next week on ‘Monday Night Football,’ some officers are not going to work,” Saunders told NBC Bay Area. “The 49ers are allowing this to come out from an employee and it’s making for a hostile work environment for us at the stadium.”

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