Lynx Players Decide Not to Wear BLM Shirts After Cops Threaten Not To Protect Them
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) July 10, 2016
Those Shirts in the above photo as well as press conference was enough for 4 outraged off-duty Minneapolis cops to walk off the job at the Target Center just before tipoff of the game against Dallas on Saturday.
Lt. Bob Kroll, president of the Minneapolis Police Federation, had this to say:
“Others said they heard about it and they were not going to work Lynx games,” he said.
Police sign up for off-duty jobs to work Lynx games, Kroll said. “They can start or stop a job whenever they want,” he said. “They are working on an independent contract.”
Asked about a report that seven or eight officers had walked off the job, Kroll said, “They only have four officers working the event because the Lynx have such a pathetic draw.”
On Tuesday, the Minnesota Lynx decided not to wear those shirts again in respect for those police officers. Lynx spokeswoman Ashley Carlson confirmed that the players would not be wearing any ‘Black Lives Matter’ clothing in San Antonio.
“The Lynx organization was made aware about the concerns of the off duty Minneapolis police officers,” the team said. “While our players message mourned the loss of life due to last week’s shootings, we respect the right of those individual officers to express their own beliefs in their own way. … We continue to urge a constructive discussion about the issues raised by these tragedies.”
Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau said in a statement released on Tuesday:
She expects all officers “to adhere to our core values and to honor their oath of office” when wearing a Minneapolis police uniform.
“Walking off the job and defaulting on their contractual obligation to provide a service to the Lynx does not conform to the expectations held by the public for the uniform these officers wear,” Harteau said.
Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges called Kroll’s comments “jackass remarks.”
“Let me be clear: labor leadership inherently does not speak on behalf of management. Bob Kroll sure as hell doesn’t speak for me about the Lynx or about anything else,” Hodges wrote.