The San Francisco Police Officers Assn. sent a letter to the NFL and the San Francisco 49ers on Monday, telling the organizations they should apologize for "the recent ill-advised statements made by your employee, Colin Kaepernick."
The 49ers quarterback has been refusing to stand during the national anthem this preseason. He told reporters on Saturday: "I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder."
"While we certainly acknowledge Mr. Kaepernick's first amendment right to remain seated during the National Anthem, as inappropriate as that may be, we will not stand by while he attacks police officers in this country with statements such as, 'People are on paid leave while people of color are killed,' " SFPOA Martin Halloran said in a letter addressed to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and 49ers President and CEO Jed York and cc'ed to Kaepernick.
"Not only does he show an incredible lack of knowledge regarding our profession and 'officer involved' shootings, but also shows a naivety and total lack of sensitivity towards police officers."
This weekend, the NFL and 49ers separately issued statements supporting a player's right not to stand during the national anthem.
In the letter, Halloran said that Kaepernick is staging a protest "based on a false narrative and misinformation that lacks any factual basis."
"The law enforcement community cannot be continuously blamed for all of society's problems, including racial divide, in our country. It isn't fair and it isn't true," Halloran stated.
Halloran wrote he wishes Kaepernick "could see the emotional and psychological challenges that our officers face following a fatal encounter" and suggests the quarterback "could lend his commentary to the over 8,000 murders that African Americans inflicted on one another in 2015."