Dear Commissioner Goodell,
Your league is at it again. On behalf of the National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO), I am writing to you to condemn in the strongest possible terms the continuing disrespect for American police officers evinced by many of the NFL’s players.
NAPO is a coalition of police unions and associations from across the United States that serves to advance the interests of America’s law enforcement through legislative and legal advocacy, political action, and education. Founded in 1978, NAPO now represents more than 1,000 police units and associations, 241,000 sworn law enforcement officers, and more than 100,000 citizens who share a common dedication to fair and effective crime control and law enforcement.
Despite assurances from the league and its representatives over the off-season, the first full week of pre-season games shows only a return to the same shenanigans on the field. At the same time that U.S. police line of duty deaths are up from last year, and while the men and women of our nation’s armed services continue to pay with their own blood to defend each one of us, your league’s employees publicly disrespect our flag, our national anthem, our veterans, and our police.
Your inaction in the face of blatant flouting of the norms of our nation, and your league’s own rules, has, unfortunately, come to be expected. Whether it was Beyoncé’s Super Bowl half-time performance celebrating cop-killers, or Isaiah Crowell’s Instagram image of an assailant slitting the throat of a police officer, you willfully turn a blind eye. How ironic that your league’s own logo deliberately calls to mind the American flag, with its red, white and blue coloring and background of white stars on a field of blue. America’s law enforcement officers and their families only wish you had the integrity to defend our nation’s flag as vigorously as you defend your company’s own logo.
But once again, there has been no response from you or the NFL. It is shameful that you have yet again sat silent while members of your organization abuse our nation’s defenders.
William J. Johnson