As witnessed in the past, professional athletes are using their platforms to bring awareness to racial injustice within our country. Earlier this year, the Los Angeles Clippers staged a silent protest after Donald Sterling’s racist remarks. And now on the heels of the grand jury decision not to indict Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown, St. Louis Rams players have publicly showed their solidarity with protesters in Ferguson.
Five African American players, Jared Cook, Tavon Austin, Kenny Britt, Stedman Bailey and Chris Given, took the field during Sunday’s game with their hands raised, symbolizing the “hands up, don’t shoot” gesture adopted during the Ferguson protests. “I just think there has be to a change,” said tight end Jared Cook. “There has to be change that starts with the people that are most influential around the world.”
Disappointed by the actions of the five Rams players, the St. Louis Police Officers Association are demanding a public apology:
“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.”
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