February 17, 2016
National Football League
345 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10154
Dear Commissioner Goodell:
I am writing on behalf of the National Troopers Coalition, which represents the nation’s 45,000 State Troopers about the poor decision by the National Football League to air a pro-Black Panther, anti-law enforcement protest as part of its halftime show during Super Bowl 50.
It is well-documented the violence suffered by police officers at the hands of armed members of the Black Panthers during the 60s, 70s and 80s. In recent years, calls by various hate groups were made to take violent action against police officers. And today, our Troopers and other members of law enforcement are being brutally murdered for simply wearing their uniforms. In 2014, according to FBI records, over 48,000 law enforcement officers were assaulted and 51 officers were feloniously killed in the line of duty. These officers were carrying out their sworn duty to protect the public, but instead were killed responding to disturbance calls, attempting to arrest criminals, during traffic stops and, mostly horrifically, in premeditated ambushes, including two members of the New York Police Department, who were sitting in their parked cruiser when a man walked up and fatally shot them both.
This is why we find it puzzling and shameful that the NFL would provide a world-wide stage to highlight a movement that emphasizes violence against law enforcement. These are the same men and women in uniform who stood on the sidelines protecting the players, coaches, performers and all other personnel involved in safely executing Super Bowl 50 and every NFL game leading up to it. We found your pro-Black Panther half time performance to be dishonorable and offensive.
At this time, we ask that you issue a public apology to the nation’s law enforcement for your reprehensible half time show and the violence it promoted.
Andrew Matthews, Esq.