BOSSIER PARISH, LA (KSLA) - Bossier Parish Sheriff Julian Whittington says he and his office will boycott Ford Motor Co. due to the automaker's stance on NFL players protesting during the national anthem.
The sheriff stated his case in a letter Wednesday addressed to the Alexandria dealership Hixson Ford.
"The Bossier Sheriff's Office will no longer purchase Ford products as long as Ford sides with those who have no regard for the men and women who protect and serve this great nation," Whittington's missive says.
The letter comes after several NFL players kneeled during the national anthem to protest police brutality against minorities. They began with former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick in 2016.
The players have a right to protest as they deem necessary, Whittington said, but the Sheriff's Office and Bossier Parish taxpayers also have a right to spend their money elsewhere.
"The recent events surrounding the NFL, its players and their audacity to thumb their collective noses at the American flag, the American military as well as the obvious disdain for the profession of law enforcement, in general, forces me to take a stand," says a statement from the sheriff on his office's Facebook page.
He also called on other law enforcement agencies and leaders to "take a stand against Ford Motor Co. and the disrespectful National Football League."
"I will be sending a copy of this letter to each of the 63 other sheriffs in the state of Louisiana ... encouraging them to take a similar stand where Ford products are concerned," Whittington wrote.
The NFL commissioner sent a letter to teams Tuesday telling them: "We believe that everyone should stand for the national anthem."