Sheriff Greene awarded for keeping deputies from Browns games

Published: Fri, September 22, 2017 @ 12:04 a.m.

By Justin Wier


American Legion Post 301 in Austintown recognized Sheriff Jerry Greene for his decision to stop sending deputies to Cleveland Browns games after several players’ protest during the national anthem.

Sam Swoger, commander of Post 301, presented the sheriff with an award at the Mahoning County commissioners’ meeting Thursday.

“Veterans really take offense to [protests during the national anthem],” Swoger said.

“Men and women go out ... to serve their country. A lot of them don’t come back, and those that do have a lot of problems.”

On Aug. 21, 12 players for the Browns kneeled during the national anthem before a preseason game against the New York Giants.

The players have stood for the anthem before all subsequent games.

The sheriff’s office routinely sent 10 to 15 deputies to help provide security during the games.

Shortly after the Aug. 21 protest, Greene ended that practice.

While acknowledging racial issues in the country, the sheriff said the decision was easy.

“It was about our veterans,” he said. “The national anthem takes two minutes. Stand.”

The commissioners unanimously supported Greene’s decision.

Commissioner Carol Rimedio-Righetti said players who have issues should get involved outside of the workplace.

“There’s a time and place for everything,” she said. “We need to respect what we stand for, and that’s freedom.”

Commissioner Anthony Traficanti said disrespecting the flag disrespects both the country and its veterans.

Commissioner Dave Ditzler compared the protests to the treatment of veterans after the Vietnam War and said we don’t want to look back 50 years from now and regret these protests.

He also said the Browns’ players deserve recognition for standing arm-in-arm with law enforcement at a subsequent game.

Also at the meeting, the commissioners approved adding $46,977 to the construction of a new county dog pound on Meridian Road, which officials said is nearing completion.

The additional money will allow the county to fill a ravine that was unusable and improve the landscaping.

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