National Fraternal Order of Police weighs in on NFL national anthem protests

Fans hold a flag during the national anthem before an NFL football game between the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WBFF) - The national Fraternal Order of Police called on the NFL Friday to sit down to "deescalate violence and rhetoric," referring to recent national anthem protests.

Chuck Canterbury, president of the Grand Lodge FOP, said in a statement that, "as private citizens - and as the Fraternal Order of Police... it's our right to disagree with white supremacists spewing hatred and NFL players kneeling during the National Anthem alike."

"We also reserve our right to push back against false accusations made about our profession," he continued. "Law enforcement officers seek to protect our communities and we categorically state that there is no systemic racism in law enforcement."

The organization then called on NFL and NFL Players Association to join in a dialogue with the police to unite all sides and "advance common interests."

The NFOP cited recent statements made by Green Bay Packers' quarterback Aaron Rogers as a positive move in that direction.

On Tuesday, Rogers explained the national anthem protests saying the issue is "unity and love and growing together as a society and starting a conversation around something that may be a little bit uncomfortable for people."

The NFOP is the oldest and largest law enforcement organization in the United States and has 325,000 members in more than 2,100 lodges nationwide.

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