Just as Ford introduces the nation’s first pursuit-rated pickup, the 2018 F-150 Police Responder, a Louisiana sheriff is boycotting the brand and asking other law enforcement leaders to do the same.
In a letter recently posted on Facebook Bossier Parish Sheriff Julian Whittington writes that he’ll no longer be buying Ford products for his 300-vehicle fleet after the automaker expressed support for NFL players who have been kneeling during the national anthem at the beginning of football games.
“Ford has been a part of American history, and has stood for American values. However, 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 their obvious disdain for the profession of law enforcement in general forces me to take a stand,” Whittington writes in a letter addressed to his dealer, Hixson Ford of Alexandria.
“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. Yes, the NFL players have a right to protest as they deem necessary, but we, the Bossier Sheriff’s Office and the taxpayers of Bossier Parish have a right to spend our money elsewhere,” Whittington continues.
Whittington’s letter is in response to a statement Ford issued last month following President Trump’s suggestion that fans should consider boycotting the NFL because of players who take a knee during the national anthem.
“We respect individuals’ rights to express their views, even if they are not ones we share,” Ford wrote in emailed statement, according to Automotive News. “That’s part of what makes America great.”
Ford is currently in a three-year contract with the NFL. That contact, which began last year, made F-Series the official truck of the NFL. In addition, the Ford family owns the Detroit Lions which plays on Ford Field.
Over the last two years, the Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office spent roughly $750,000 on Ford vehicles through Hixson Ford, according to the Shreveport Times. Most of its 300-vehicle fleet are Fords which includes F-Series trucks and Ford Transits, according to Automotive News.
In the hopes of encouraging other law enforcement agencies to stop buying Ford products, Whittington said he’ll be sending copies of his letter to the 63 other sheriffs in Louisiana, the Louisiana Sheriff’s Association President and the International Association of the Chiefs of Police.
“We can no longer stand idly by and allow the fabric of this country to be dismantled,” Whittington writes. “The men and women of law enforcement make it possible for the Ford Motor Co. to do business in a safe and secure environment. It’s time they took a stand for each of them.”