Members of the Texas Municipal Police Association were in the Coastal Bend Wednesday to discuss the ongoing controversy surrounding the NFL's national anthem protests.

NFL players have said they are conducting their protest in an effort to shed light on social injustice and what they say is police brutality. Members of the TMPA are touring the state hoping to start a dialogue that can bridge the divide they say has been created by the protests.

"Get together at the local level, and have regular ongoing dialogue. Let everybody be part of that dialogue," TMPA Executive Director Kevin Lawrence said. "Don't let the national media, don't let national special interest groups drive the dialogue. Get together in the local level and have these conversations. If your officers are involved with something that you believe is questionable, ask questions. Hold them accountable. There is no problem with that; but don't jump to conclusions."

For their part, the NFL has stated how important the national anthem is to them and the country, though they have been careful to make sure not to infringe on a player's right to peacefully protest.

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