The National Fraternal Order of Police (NFOP) has issued a statement strongly condemning the NFL for backing "defund the police" groups across America.
"The @NFL wants to 'Inspire Chang' by funding groups that want to #DefundThePolice and envision a world without prisons and police. Performative displays of wokeness like this are shameful. Maybe Commissioner Goodell @nflcommish should take a timeout and reconsider this decision," the nation's top police union tweeted Thursday on the NFL's social justice program.
NFOP president Patrick Yoes responded with a scathing letter aimed directly at the NFL and its "woke" stance on issues, which reads, in part: "I find it incredibly ironic that NFL teams travel and play every week under the protection of local law enforcement; we have officers in stadiums, parking lots, and even on the sidelines to ensure the safety of the players, team personnel, and of course, the fans."
"The NFL pays for this security because they want their venues and attendees to be safe. Now, we learn they are sending thousands of dollars to groups whose mission is to end policing and our system of justice," Yoes stated.
"How irresponsible is this? If it weren't such a serious issue, we would just laugh at them and go about our business. But make no mistake, this is a very serious issue."
Yoes continued, bringing in a broader context: "Our nation is experiencing a crime wave unlike any other in recent history and one of our nation's largest sporting leagues is paying for campaigns to keep criminals and offenders on the streets?"
"Is this the kind of change the NFL wants to inspire—the false narrative that police officers and policing are bad and that crime in our society will just end of its own accord?" Yoes asked. "Would players take the field if police officers were not protecting those stadiums? Would fans risk going to games knowing that there would be no police presence? Of course not."
"The NFL can inspire whatever change it chooses—but that doesn’t mean they have to fund the kind of change that makes them and all of us less safe," Yoes added.
Yoes's press statement on the NFOP website Thursday concluded: "And it certainly doesn’t mean it is morally right to fund groups who want to make America less safe while at the same time the NFL relies on the brave men and women of law enforcement to make stadiums safe places to turn monstrous profits."
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