Before taking the field against the Raiders on Sunday, St. Louis Rams players Tavon Austin, Kenny Britt, Edward Jones Dome, Stedman Bailey, Chris Givens and Jared Cook took a moment to raise their hands in silence, in an effort to show their support of Michael Brown, who’s death in early August has sparked a national controversy.
“I just think there has to be a change,” Cook said after the Rams’ 52-0 win. “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,” said Cook.
Following the display, the St. Louis Police Association demanded an apology from the league as well as punishments for each player involved. SLPOA Business Manager Jeff Roorda explained, “I’d remind the NFL and their players that it is not the violent thugs burning down buildings that buy their advertiser’s products,” Roorda added. “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. 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.”
Today the NFL decided to release their own statement on the matter, declining to impose a fine. In a statement released by NFL Vice President of Communications, Brian McCarthy: “We respect and understand the concerns of all individuals who have expressed views on this tragic situation.”