Police chief to mediate between 49ers, police following Kaepernick's comments
SAN FRANCISCO -- The police chief in Santa Clara, home to Levi's Stadium, says he will urge the leadership of the officers' union to put citizens' safety first after its members said they may boycott policing 49ers games if quarterback Colin Kaepernick is not disciplined.
Santa Clara Police Chief Michael Sellers said in a statement Saturday that he will work with the officers association and the 49ers to find a solution.
The union for police officers who work San Francisco home games says its members may boycott policing the stadium if the 49ers don't discipline Kaepernick for refusing to stand during the national anthem and for his statements about law enforcement.
A letter from the Santa Clara Police Officers Association sent to the 49ers was obtained Friday by KNTV-TV, the NBC affiliate in San Jose.
It says that Kaepernick's protest has "threatened our harmonious working relationship" with the 49ers. About 70 officers from the Santa Clara Police Department patrol Levi's Stadium when the 49ers play there.
It also criticized what it called anti-police statements made by Kaepernick, calling them "insulting, inaccurate and completely unsupported by any facts."
Sellers says that while he and many in the law enforcement community have been saddened and angered by Kaepernick's words and actions, he will ensure the police department continues to provide a safe environment at Levi's Stadium.
Kaepernick has refused to stand up during the playing of the national anthem before recent games as a way of protesting police killings of unarmed black men.