NFL — 30 November 2014
St. Louis Police Officers Association Wants Rams Players Punished for “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” Gesture

In light of the recent developments in Ferguson, Missouri, a few members of the St. Louis Rams decided to make a statement today. The entire receiving core (Stedman Bailey, Tavon Austin, Jared Cook, Chris Givens, and Kenny Britt) came on to the field expressing the “hands up, don’t shoot” gesture in response to what has been going on in the St. Louis suburb.

This is the beauty of sports. Beyond athletics, it is the cross section of everything else happening in the world. Well, the St. Louis Police Officers Association wasn’t amused. In fact they think these players should be punished by either the Rams or the NFL, per It’s amazing that they would even put up a fight about this.

Here’s the full statement:

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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Kevin Burke

(21) Readers Comments

  1. Freedom of expression is alive and well,and not a damn thing the St Louis police department can do about it…
    Shut up and deal with more pressing issues in your community…

  2. Police are the new version of the Ku Klux Klan. If they don’t understand the deep seated anger protest – they should not be entrusted with public safety. Fair grand jury process? Get a grip people. I am outraged, and I am not black.

  3. man, its about to get reeeeal racist in here….

  4. It doesn’t surprise me because most of the players are thugs themselves. Anyone that supports thieves and criminals against a police officer doing his job are just not thinking straight or are racist themselves.

  5. Really, don’t the police have anything else to worry about other than a constitutionally protected freedom of expression by law abiding US citizens? Normally the whole free speech thing doesn’t really apply, because it’s not usually the government censoring a person i.e., Paula Dean, Don Imus, Duck Dynasty guys, etc. But in this case a representative of the government is advocating for citizens to be punished for exercising the right to free speech/expression. And the police wonder why people don’t trust them!

  6. this is disgraceful. I wonder how many of those guys are guilty of some other kind of felony that goes around the NFL and they are getting paid more than any of them are worth IMHO.
    The police officer Wilson has been refused any severance pay, that’s great isn’t it. the media is responsible for most of this BS by posting the innocent baby face of this criminal. Why don’t they show the real thing? No, because they want to keep this astir for news purposes.

  7. Don’t get me wrong, I have been the most loyal Rams fan you will ever meet (49 yrs). But these players need to stick to playing football and let the justice system run it’s course………….!

    • After reading the comments by various Police organizations, their values become increasingly clear . They would set aside the Constitution to further their own position. We are becoming more of a police state everyday.
      The Prosecutor did not represent the victim in this case, but chose to ‘whitewash’ the incident. The Police reports themselves were inaccurate to say the least. For instance, they reported the distance from the Police vehicle to the decedent to be approximately 38 feet. Independent reports peg the distance closer to 150 feet. A Federal investigation will surely uncover the cover-up.

    • The NFL is getting full of thugs just like the NBA. Where eles can you be a convicted felon and get a job making the money they do. Vick, Rice and Peterson should never be able to play again. The Rams player should be suspened for the rest of the year with no pay

  8. It is apparent that these bone heads know nothing about the case or the Grand Jury evidence that was heard by a mix of white and black jurors. To do this display in front of all the people in the stands and on TV etc. is so stupid and insulting to the police and the justice system is so offensive. To think these clowns support a doper robber and assaulter is incomprehensible. Also how about the insults on twitter/facebook that this hero of these boneheads did against a rape victim. Apparently, violence against women is OK with these intellectuals too. Nice faces of the NFL.

  9. What do the police intend to do if the Ram players don’t apologize? Shoot them?

  10. We live in the United States Of America. All of us have the right to Freedom of Speech. We are all allowed to have an opinion and voice that opinion. Stop focusing on who might be right or who could be wrong, that doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is respecting all human beings and their opinions. If you feel differently than someone else….. congratulations, you have a brain.

  11. It was wrong for them to do that crap at a football game can’t they get it through their heads the cop did what he had to do it was Brown’s fault for going after the cops gun

  12. So these players seem to support what this punk ass thief did to the store keepers and they believe in burning down & stealing from shop owners. I say to you St. Louis Rams GO TO HELL I HOPE YOU LOOSE EVERY FRIGGIN GAME FROM NOW ON and your Stadium is empty. Raising your arms is a direct OK to steal & burn. The police dept . is right. your are an insult to the human race! If you don’t break the law you should not fear the cops IT’S THAT SIMPLE DUMB ASS !

  13. When there is no justice- good men & women need to speak up

  14. Loser player acting like losers

  15. Yeah cuz the justice system is sooo great….

  16. Last time that I checked, the “demonstrators” are showing their emotions by burning down buildings, looting and acting without due cause…. In this case I think “thugs” is very appropriate

  17. Amen Mr. Roorda, amen.

  18. “Interesting choice of words by St. Louis here. Did they just refer to demonstrators as “thugs”?”

    Interesting twist of words by author. SLPOA said “…. I’d remind the NFL and their players that it is not the violent thugs burning down buildings that buy their advertiser’s products. SLPOA never said anything about demonstrators being thugs. I’m sure there were a lot of peaceful demonstrators in Ferguson, Missouri but the bad overshadowed the peaceful protest.

  19. anybody that think it is ok to shoot a young man down like a dog. is sick if a black had shoot a white kid he be in jail dont need kkk we have white cops dont hang blacks no more just shoot them down the put together a white jury just like oj had black jury that why he got off

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