St. Louis Police Officers Association Wants Rams Players Punished For Ferguson Protest

ADDITION Raiders Rams Football

By Ryan Gajewski –

The football pros raised their hands before the game in a tribute to the unrest in the nearby suburb

St. Louis Rams players saluted Ferguson protesters with a public display at Sunday’s game.

Five of the NFL team’s players emerged from the tunnel at St. Louis’ Edward Jones Dome before the game with their hands raised to show support for Ferguson, a St. Louis suburb.

Wide receivers Tavon Austin and Kenny Britt were the first to take the field with their hands in the air in what appeared to be a “don’t shoot” pose.

Stedman Bailey, Jared Cook and Chris Givens followed with the gesture in a tribute to the people of Ferguson, where police officer Darren Wilson shot teen Michael Brown in August. A grand jury decided earlier this month not to indict Wilson, leading to protests in Ferguson and in major cities across the U.S.

Following Tre Mason‘s fourth-quarter touchdown in the Rams’ 52-0 rout of the Oakland Raiders, he and Britt both raised their hands.

Earlier in the fall, the Rams gave free tickets to a number of Ferguson-area high school football teams as a show of support.

Late Sunday, the St. Louis Police Officers Association said in a news release that it was “profoundly disappointed with the members of the St. Louis Rams football team who chose to ignore the mountains of evidence released from the St. Louis County Grand Jury this week and engage in a display that police officers around the nation found tasteless, offensive and inflammatory.”

The association’s business manager Jeff Roorda said: “Now that the evidence is in and Officer Wilson’s account has been verified by physical and ballistic evidence as well as eye-witness testimony, which led the grand jury to conclude that no probable cause existed that Wilson engaged in any wrongdoing, it is unthinkable that hometown athletes would so publicly perpetuate a narrative that has been disproven over and over again.” The St. Louis Police Officers Association called for the players involved to be disciplined and for the Rams and the NFL to deliver a “very public apology,” its statement read in part. “I know that there are those that will say that these players are simply exercising their First Amendment rights,” SLPOA business manager Jeff Roorda said in the statement. “Well, I’ve got news for people who think that way: Cops have First Amendment rights too, and we plan to exercise ours. I’d remind the NFL and their players that it is not the violent thugs burning down buildings that buy their advertiser’s products. It’s cops and the good people of St. Louis and other NFL towns that do. Somebody needs to throw a flag on this play. If it’s not the NFL and the Rams, then it’ll be cops and their supporters.”   SuperStarTickets   In response, Brian McCarthy, the NFL’s VP of communications, released a statement Monday: “We respect and understand the concerns of all individuals who have expressed views on this tragic situation.” “We kind of came collectively together and decided we wanted to do something,” Cook said after the Rams’ 52-0 victory. “We haven’t been able to go down to Ferguson to do anything because we have been busy. Secondly, it’s kind of dangerous down there and none of us want to get caught up in anything. “So we wanted to come out and show our respect to the protests and the people who have been doing a heck of a job around the world.”

Needless to say, the NFL will not discipline the players for their Ferguson hands up protest.      

Raw video of Rams interviews :