Now, word from Steve Loomis, president-elect of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association. His statement is significantly less inflammatory than Follmer's (he doesn't call anyone pathetic, to start), but it mainly hinges on similar "stick with sports" territory. Also, spoiler: He gets the Dixie Chicks involved. His statement to Scene in full:
Entertainers should entertain and not dip into the world of politics. (A world in which MOST are incredibly under qualified to participate.) While we recognize and support 1st amendment rights of all citizens, there are a select and fortunate few that must be held to a higher standard. I have two words for them, Dixie Chicks. The group expressed their political views during concerts and single handily and very quickly destroyed their careers!Loomis didn't address our questions of whether the rank and file fully supported Follmer's statement or his thoughts on Follmer's decision to issue the statement in the first place.
The words and actions of sports and entertainment personalities carry a certain amount of weight no matter how uneducated, inciting, and false those opinions are.
Entertainers expressing their political views should choose their words and actions wisely. In Cleveland there are a great many groups working very hard to remain a national model regarding the very emotional issues we are currently facing. We are accomplishing the message of calm through meaningful dialogue and bridge building. Now is a time for open honest dialogue between legitimate stakeholders NOT inciting, self serving, and uninformed messages from those living in their gated communities.
Most of the folks that go to Browns/ Cavs games, (me included) go to support their team, the players, and community. We spend our hard earned money to enjoy time with friends and family and distract ourselves from the day to day grind of life. WE DO NOT go to these games to deal with the personal and political messages from players.
From my perspective as the President Elect of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association as a Cleveland Police Officer, and resident, statements made by these folks (whether supportive of Police or of suspects) do the citizens a huge disservice. They also set back and distract us from any progress being made on the peaceful resolution of the very serious and complicated issues at hand.