In an act of solidarity with Ferguson residents and protestors, St. Louis Rams players Jared Cook, Kenny Britt, Stedman Bailey, Chris Givens and Tavon Austin exited the players’ tunnel preceding their Sunday night game against the Oakland Raiders in the “hands up, don’t shoot” pose that has become synonymous with the August death of 18-year-old Michael Brown.
“I just think there has to be a change,” Cook said of the players’ gestures in a statement to The Huffington Post. “There has to be a change that starts with the people that are most influential around the world. No matter what happened on that day, no matter how the whole situation went down, there has to be a change.”
In response to this show of support, the St. Louis Police Officers Association demanded an apology.
“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,” read a statement released by the SLPOA yesterday. “The SLPOA is calling for the players involved to be disciplined and for the Rams and the NFL to deliver a very public apology.”
However, the NFL responded diplomatically and didn’t allude to any disciplinary action. “We respect and understand the concerns of all individuals who have expressed views on this tragic situation,” said NFL Vice President of Communications Brian McCarthy.