St. Louis Rams players enter game with controversial gesture

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Before Sunday's game in St. Louis, five players raised their arms, in what's become known as the "hands up, don't shoot" pose.

It's based on the original claim that Michael Brown was trying to surrender when he was shot.

St. Louis Police say the claim has since been debunked, and the gesture was tasteless and inflammatory.

In response to the Rams' players' entrance on Sunday, the St. Louis Police Officers Association released a statement condemning the display, via KSDK. You can read the full statement below:

"St. Louis, Missouri (November 30, 2014) – The St. Louis Police Officers Association is 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.

"Five members of the Rams entered the field today exhibiting the "hands-up-don't-shoot" pose that has been adopted by protestors who accused Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson of murdering Michael Brown. The gesture has become synonymous with assertions that Michael Brown was innocent of any wrongdoing and attempting to surrender peacefully when Wilson, according to some now-discredited witnesses, gunned him down in cold blood.

"SLPOA 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."

"Roorda was incensed that the Rams and the NFL would tolerate such behavior and called it remarkably hypocritical. "All week long, the Rams and the NFL were on the phone with the St. Louis Police Department asking for assurances that the players and the fans would be kept safe from the violent protesters who had rioted, looted, and burned buildings in Ferguson. Our officers have been working 12 hour shifts for over a week, they had days off including Thanksgiving cancelled so that they could defend this community from those on the streets that perpetuate this myth that Michael Brown was executed by a brother police officer and then, as the players and their fans sit safely in their dome under the watchful protection of hundreds of St. Louis's finest, they take to the turf to call a now-exonerated officer a murderer, that is way out-of-bounds, to put it in football parlance," Roorda said.

"The SLPOA is calling for the players involved to be disciplined and for the Rams and the NFL to deliver a very public apology. Roorda said he planned to speak to the NFL and the Rams to voice his organization's displeasure tomorrow. He also plans to reach out to other police organizations in St. Louis and around the country to enlist their input on what the appropriate response from law enforcement should be. Roorda warned, "I know that there are those that will say that these players are simply exercising their First Amendment rights. 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."

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14 comments

  • Ron Melancon

    Wrong place wrong simply wrong did they read the grand jury report? How many times do we have to go over and over this. What about all the other deaths that will happen today? If you read the grand Jury’s report you can determine for yourself what happened. If you did not read the report than you are being used by…….

    • BJ

      This has nothing to do with the GJ decision, which was unfair to the GJ because they were just given a crooked playing field. Bottom line the Rams players where in the right. If officers where so disgusted because they assumed the players where choosing sides instead of solidarity then maybe they should take those “I am Darren Wilson” wristbands and through them in the trash where they belong.

  • Diane

    Well the St Louis Rams makes me proud to call myself a Bears FAN again……..I was kinda sliding away ……you know with the lousy season and all ………but heck I’d be embarrassed to cheer these guys on. Go Hawks !!

  • JOYCE

    When these players donate 50% of their salaries to improve society, I will not be offended by their actions. This was just an inflammatory action and they should be severely reprimanded by NFL. It is time to accept the grand jury’s decision and move on. Let’s begin by parents teaching their children to respect law enforcement and respond appropriately to their commands.

    • Ismael

      They cannot donate any of their money because five years after they leave the game they will be broke. You and I will have more money than them. They will have to sue the league for concussion money. Most football players are morons who do not know how to handle money. These five are nothing but dummies.

  • silent_screamer

    Multiple videos show police are at the stadium trying to protect fans from folks who are trying to disrupt the game and these idiots pull this stunt. THE RAMS OWE LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AND POLICE ACROSS THE COUNTRY AN APOLOGY AND the five players should be fined with money going to an FOP.
    FWIW, the Rams record is as poor as the Bears, so its not like they have anything to brag about,

  • Diane

    Here’s the problem for the Ram’s Organization. If the head honchoes don’t apologize, decent folk everywhere will boycott all Rams games.
    On another page, If the head honchoes DO make the players apologize or fine them for their behavior …….the people who have issues with our justice system will boycott the Ram’s games. They will still riot outside the stadium but they won’t listen to the scores or cheer them on.
    Seeing how the Rams have a worse record than the Bears, only a idiot would even bother to buy tickets to the Rams
    as they are rated last in the league ( even with a blow out last weekend)

  • Greg

    Has anyone realized yet most pro athletes are uneducated morons with degrees in basket weaving if they even have a degree and if Mike Brown would have put his hands up he would be alive today ….robbing more convenience stores