The St. Louis Rams will not be subjected to disciplinary action by the NFL after causing a ruckus for daring to show support for the protesters in Ferguson.
During Sunday’s pre-game, the players displayed the “hands up, don’t shoot” stance, which evoked a measure of fury with the St. Louis Officer’s Association who didn’t appreciate the gesture by the players. A letter from the association called their actions “tasteless, offensive and inflammatory”.
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.”
One of the players who participated in the initiative, Stedman Bailey, said that his teammates made the decision right before the game commenced. He explained that their intent was to send out a positive vibes during a time of intense strife. “Violence should stop. There’s a lot of violence going on here in St. Louis. We definitely hear about it all, and we just want it to stop”.
Other players echoed the same sentiment when explaining what motivated their need to use such a public arena to express their solidarity with those who denounce the verdict that vindicated Michael Brown’s killer. Jared Cook detailed the importance for the team as a whole to recognize the ongoing tragedy, “It’s dangerous out there. None of us want to get caught up in that. We wanted to come out and show our respect to the protestors that have been doing a heck of a job”.
Looks like the NFL agrees with the team based on a statement that was issued that basically confirmed that despite the St. Louis Police Officer’s Association’s demands for penalization, the NFL stands by the players, “We respect and understand the concerns of all individuals who have expressed views on this tragic situation”.