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HomeNewsUSPolice, Fans Furious Over St. Louis Rams ‘Hands Up, Don’t Shoot’ Stunt

Police, Fans Furious Over St. Louis Rams ‘Hands Up, Don’t Shoot’ Stunt


Nov 30, 2014; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams wide receiver Stedman Bailey (12) and wide receiver Tavon Austin (11) and tight end Jared Cook (89) and wide receiver Chris Givens (13) and wide receiver Kenny Britt (81) put their hands up to show support for Michael Brown before a game against the Oakland Raiders at the Edward Jones Dome. (Photo: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY)

The St. Louis Rams are on the receiving end of blowback from fans and police after several players came out of the tunnel with arms raised in a show of support for the Ferguson riots.

Wide receivers Tavon Austin, Stedman Bailey, Kenny Britt, Chris Givens, and tight end Jared Cook all exited the tunnel Sunday with the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” display used by protestors and rioters in Ferguson, Missouri.

“I just think there has to be a change,” tight end Jared Cook said, without mentioning a word about the businesses that were destroyed or the lives ruined as a result of the violence in reaction to the grand jury decision. “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 change.”

A St. Louis police officers’ group called on the NFL to punish the five Rams players who stood with their hands raised before trotting onto the field for pre-game introductions Sunday.

The St. Louis Police Officers’ Association said it was “profoundly disappointed” with a “display that police officers around the nation found tasteless, offensive and inflammatory.” It called for the players involved to be disciplined and for both the league and team to issue a “very public apology.”

“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,” SLPOA Business Manager Jeff Roorda said in a statement. “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.”

The so-called “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” gesture that has been commonly used by rioters and protestors originated from the now-debunked witness testimony claiming Officer Darren Wilson shot 18-year-old Michael Brown when his hands were in the air. However, in reality, all but two witnesses who made that claim admitted they lied when confronted with the forensic evidence and a majority of witness testimony corroborating Wilson’s story.

Still, after months of incitement, anger over the decision from the grand jury not to indict Officer Darren Wilson festered, leading to widespread looting and rioting. The damage to the mostly minority-owned business district, in many cases, is beyond repair.

Apparently, Cook and the other players not only were too busy to read the grand jury evidence, but also too busy to go to Ferguson and show their support in person, he said. Further, “it’s kind of dangerous down there and none of us want to get caught up in anything.”

“It takes some guts, it takes some heart, so I admire the people around the world that have been doing it,” he added.

Coach Jeff Fisher said he’d not been aware the gesture had been planned by the players, all of whom were black.

Meanwhile, across the street from the stadium, a group of approximately 75 protestors assembled during the second half of the game. They chanted “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot!” and ”No Justice, No Football!” They also repeated, ”This is what democracy looks like,” which is a statement made by radical liberal professor Marc Lamont Hill on CNN over the weekend, and “We’re here for Mike Brown.”

It wasn’t the first time so-called protestors took their demonstrations to the St. Louis Rams game.

In October, protestors outside the Edward Jones Dome clashed with fans after the Rams game against the Seattle Seahawks. “F*** all you white motherf***ers!” can be heard in a video supplied by the St. Louis Dispatch and previously published on PPD. The same black female hurling racial epithets at white fans later spit on one man and assaulted another by punching him in the face when his back was turned.

“I know that there are those that will say that these players are simply exercising their First Amendment rights,” police spokesman Roorda said. “Well I’ve got news for people who think that way, cops have first amendment rights too, and we plan to exercise ours.”

Roorda also noted that the Rams are not only disrespecting those who have worked so hard to ensure their safety, but also that they are biting the hand that feeds.

“I’d remind the NFL and their players that it is not the violent thugs burning down buildings that buy their advertiser’s products,” he 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.”

Written by

Laura Lee Baris is the Assistant Editor at People's Pundit Daily (PPD) and the Producer of "Inside the Numbers" with the People's Pundit. Laura covers politics, entertainment, culture and women's issues. She is also married to the People's Pundit, Richard D. Baris, and a mother to their two beautiful children.

Latest comments

  • Doubtful these players/former hood rats understand that when you are ordered to do/not do something by an authority figure, e.g., the police, you are to obey. Then again, the overwhelming percentage of black men nowadays are raised without a father!

    That is the truth despite efforts by liberals to downplay that catastrophic family breakdown.
    The truth hurts a lot!

  • Five Baboons, nothing more!! Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson would disagree!

  • I would be fine with people using “Hands up don’t shoot” if the forensic evidence didn’t completely debunk this and show Michael Brown was an aggressor who attempted to steal a police officers gun. Liberals will say he was trying to get the gun and use it in a friendly manner despite MB assaulting a clerk and a police officer in a matter of minutes.

  • Does the league permit players to wear different versions of the team uniform? How about making the white, black, and other players stand in different spots on the sidelines to highlight their race?

    Why not make “Black Power” fists and parade around during half-time?

    How about if the white players celebrated their “whiteness” with a KKK rally?

    The NFL has many issues. This is but another one. Rice and his biotch are great examples, and role models. They’re taking up the cause of Sharpton, Jackson, and other fine religious leaders….but it’s so misplaced.

    Yes….the officer who shot the gentle little black child did kill him. It wasn’t an execution….however. The young adult was a thug.

    Celebrate Thugness…..Do it now.

    I’d like to thank Obama for his six fine years of leadership and building a sense of community between the races. He sure did earn his Nobel Peace Prize.

    Visualize impeachment….don’t let him make a bunch of pardons as he leaves office.

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