Michael Sellers, chief of the Santa Clara Police Department, has called on his force to ignore calls to boycott San Francisco 49ers home games at the NFL American football team’s Levi’s Stadium over comments made by player Colin Kaepernick.
Quarterback Kaepernick has attracted both criticism and praise from fans across the country in recent weeks over his actions, which have included taking part in sit-ins in protest against police.
However, his actions have led to suggestions that Santa Clara police personnel could stop working at 49ers home games unless the team takes action against Kaepernick.
Chief Sellers has now spoken out over the issue, calling on officers to ignore such calls and to put the safety of local residents first.
“I will urge the (Santa Clara Police Officers Association) to put the safety of our citizens first,” Sellers said in a statement. “I will work with both sides to find a solution.
“In the meantime, I will ensure we continue to provide a safe environment at Levi's Stadium.”