The St. Louis police department asked the NFL and the Rams for an apology for the St. Louis Rams players who showed that they care about the shooting of Michael Brown on the nearby streets of nearby Ferguson and the subsequent refusal by the grand jury to have Darren Wilson go on trial for killing the unarmed Black teenager on Aug. 9.
An apology? How arrogant is that?
Stedman Bailey, Chris Givens, Jared Cook, Tayon Austin and Kenny Britt had the right to enter the field Sunday with their hands raised while nodding, an expression of support for the protesters in Ferguson. Some witnesses said Brown had his hands up when Wilson shot him.
Players are men, and these men apparently were moved enough to show their support for the Brown family and others who have lost loved ones at the hands of police.
In response, Brian McCarthy, the NFL’s VP of communications, released a statement Monday: “We respect and understand the concerns of all individuals who have expressed views on this tragic situation.”
So why would the St. Louis Police Officers Association ask for the Rams and the NFL to deliver a “very public apology.”
Worse, here is part of the statement from the police union’s Jeff Roorda. Note the racist code word: “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.”
Sounds like a threat of some sort. But guess what: Black people, including some of the Rams, are already scared a cop will shoot to kill in an instant. So Roorda did not even have to go there; the threat is ever-present.
In other words, St. Louis police, get a life. . . and stop threatening lives. “We haven’t been able to go down to Ferguson to do anything because we have been busy,” Cook said. “Secondly, it’s kind of dangerous down there and none of us want to get caught up in anything.
“So we wanted to come out and show our respect to the protests and the people who have been doing a heck of a job around the world.”
“We wanted to show that we are organized for a great cause and something positive comes out of it,” Britt said. “That’s what we hope we can make happen. That’s our community. We wanted to let the community know that we support the community.”
A commendable effort by the players. Too bad it was just a few and not the entire team. Too bad all NFL teams did not organize and coordinate a similar show of support. Too bad the St. Louis police was too sensitive missed the point that Black lives need to be valued and deadly force should not be the only recourse. Doubt the message got through, though.