SANTA CLARA — The Santa Clara police union says its officers may stop working San Francisco 49ers’ home games amid quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s decision to protest police brutality and racial injustice by refusing to stand during the national anthem, according to media reports.
A letter from the Santa Clara Police Officers’ Association to the team, obtained by NBC Bay Area news, said if the team does not take action against Kaepernick for his actions, which also include wearing socks that depict officers as pigs, “it could result in police officers choosing not to work at your facilities.”
The letter also said “the board of directors of the Santa Clara Police Officers’ Association has a duty to protect its members and work to make all of their working environments free of harassing behavior.”
A 49ers spokesman told this newspaper the team continues to stand by a statement it issued a week ago.
“The national anthem is and always will be a special part of the pre-game ceremony,” the statement said. “It is an opportunity to honor our country and reflect on the great liberties we are afforded as its citizens. In respecting such American principles as freedom of religion and freedom of expression, we recognize the right of an individual to choose to participate, or not, in our celebration of the national anthem.”
The letter from the union runs counter to a statement recently issued by the Santa Clara Police Department, which said its officers “will continue to provide a high level of service at all stadium events to ensure the safety of the fans, players and referees.”
Contact Jason Green at 408-920-5006. Follow him at Twitter.com/JGreenMercNews.