teleSUR (Nov. 30) – Five players walked on field with their arms raised in the “Hands up, Don’t Shoot!” gesture that has become widely associated with the Ferguson protests.
Five players from the St. Louis Rams of the National Football League showed their support for the Ferguson protests Sunday, entering the Edward Jones Dome with their hands up as a nod to the demonstrations in the city’s suburb.
The gesture has become widely associated with the protests calling for justice in the fatal police shooting of unarmed, black teenager Michael Brown, who some witnesses say had his hands up when he was killed in August.
“Hands up, Don’t shoot” has become a prominent slogan at the Ferguson protests as well as those that have erupted across the United States.
St. Louis Rams wide receiver Stedman Bailey, wide receiver Tavon Austin, tight end Jared Cook, wide receiver Chris Givens and wide receiver Kenny Britt participated in the symbolic display.
The Rams ended up crushing the Oakland Raiders, 52-0.
The demonstrations escalated last week when a grand jury decided not to indict Wilson, in a decision that has been derided by civil rights activists and legal experts.
The shooting has once again brought the issues of racism, discrimination police brutality to the fore of U.S. politics.
Following the verdict, Wilson gave an exclusive interview saying he did not regret his actions. On Saturday, the Ferguson police department announced that Wilson had resigned from the force.
Police condemn football players’ Mike Brown solidarity
A Missouri police union has demanded that the five St. Louis Rams football players who showed their support for the Ferguson protests before a match apologize. It also threatened to embargo all National Football League advertising.
The St. Louis Police Officers Association said that the “hands-up” gesture displayed by the players, which refers to 18-year-old Michael Brown’s surrender moments before he was shot dead by Officer Darren Wilson, was “tasteless, offensive and inflammatory.”
“It was unthinkable that hometown athletes would so publicly perpetuate a narrative that has been disproven over and over again,” Jeff Roorda, an official with the police union, said in a statement Sunday.
“I’d remind the NFL and their players that it is not the violent thugs burning down buildings that buy their advertisers’ products. It’s cops and the good people of St Louis and other NFL towns that do,” he added.
Demonstrations in Ferguson, and across the United States, escalated last weekwhen a grand jury chose not to indict Wilson for the fatal shooting of the unarmed black teenager.
Kenny Britt, the Rams’ wide receiver who took part in the protest before the game against the Oakland Raiders Sunday was adamant that it was the team’s duty to show solidarity with the Ferguson protest movement.
“I don’t want the people in the community to feel like we turned a blind eye to it,” he said.
In spite of the police union’s threats, Britt later posted to Instagram a defiant image of his bandaged wrists, saying “Mike Brown” and “My Kids Matter,” with the caption, “This game was dedicated to #MikeBrown, his family and the Community of #Ferguson. #WeStandWithYou #MikeBrown #MyKidsMatter #HornsUp”.