Four off-duty police officers working an WNBA game in Minnesota walked off the job Saturday after comments by three players at a pre-game news conference.
“Change starts with us, justice and accountability," read the fronts of the shirts of three Minnesota Lynx players, minutes before their contest with the Dallas Wings at the Target Center in Minneapolis. On the backs of their shirts were the names of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, the phrase "Black Lives Matter” and the Dallas Police Department emblem, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
Lynx forward Rebekkah Brunson said the players were wearing the shirts to "honor and mourn the loss of precious American citizens and to plead change for all of us.” Lynx forward Maya Moore added, “We are highlighting a longtime problem of racial profiling."
"This is a human issue & we need to speak up for change, together." -Maya pic.twitter.com/tyfl65Ag81— Minnesota Lynx (@minnesotalynx) July 9, 2016
But the gesture didn't sit well with four Minneapolis officers, who were off-duty but working on an independent contract at the Lynx game.
"They can start or stop a job whenever they want,” Lt. Bob Kroll, president of the Minneapolis Police Federation, told the Star Tribune. “They are working on an independent contract.”
Kroll added that other officers may also choose to walk off their independent contracting jobs because of players' controversial statements.
“If [the players] are going to keep their stance, all officers may refuse to work there," Kroll said. As for the four officers who walked off the job on Saturday, Kroll told the Star Tribune, “I commend them for it."
(H/T: Huffington Post)
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