“…a display that police officers around the nation found tasteless, offensive and inflammatory.”
That’s how an organization of St. Louis police officers described provocative gestures by members of the St. Louis Rams football team who took their personal feelings about the Ferguson shooting and its politically charged aftermath into a national sports setting.
The players stood in solidarity with Ferguson protestors by raising their hands during pre-game introductions on Sunday. Rams’ Coach Jeff Fisher said he was unaware of what his players intended to do.
As Fox News reports, the St. Louis Police Officers’ Association said it was “profoundly disappointed” with the display and called for the players involved to be disciplined and for both the league and team to issue a “very public apology.”
The so-called “hands up, don’t shoot” gesture has been commonly used by demonstrators protesting the decision of a St. Louis County grand jury not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the August 9 shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown in suburban Ferguson.
Some witnesses said Brown, who was black, had his hands up before being fatally shot by Wilson, who is white.
But a statement from the Association representing police officers who have been directly involved in the numerous disruptive, often-violent Ferguson-related protests notes that, in their “hands up” gestures, the Rams’ players “chose to ignore the mountains of evidence released from the St. Louis County Grand Jury.”
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It is easy to see why some find it ironic that in the week following the announcement of the grand jury decision not to indict Wilson, the St. Louis Rams were actively involved in a blitz of public service announcements urging calm — and now a handful of black players publicly rekindle an argument about the incident that has been officially rejected.
In an interview following the game, one of the Rams’ players, Jared Cook, seemed to say that the facts of the Ferguson shooting case don’t really matter in the effort to continue a narrative that essentially vilifies the police action the grand jury found to be justified.
“No matter what happened on that day, no matter how the whole situation went down, there has to be a change.”
Thanks to the TV station website ksdk.com, you can watch the players’ “hands up” display that has angered police.
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Image Credit: ksdk.com
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