*Despite upsetting the St. Louis Police Officers Association with a unified showing of the “hands up, don’t shoot” gesture symbolizing the Michael Brown case, the NFL will not fine St. Louis Rams players Jared Cook, Kenny Britt, Stedman Bailey, Chris Givens and Tavon Austin.
A statement released Sunday by the SLPOA included the organization’s demand for an apology following the athletes’ show of support.
“The St. Louis Police Officers Association is profoundly disappointed with the members of the St. Louis Rams football team who chose to ignore the mountains of evidence released from the St. Louis County Grand Jury this week and engage in a display that police officers around the nation found tasteless, offensive, and inflammatory,” the statement read. “The SLPOA is calling for the players involved to be disciplined and for the Rams and the NFL to deliver a very public apology.”
NFL Vice President of Communications Brian McCarthy countered the SLPOA’s argument as he issued a diplomatic response without any allusion to disciplinary action.
“We respect and understand the concerns of all individuals who have expressed views on this tragic situation,” he said.
The Rams players first displayed “hands up, don’t shoot” gesture before their game Sunday night against the Oakland Raiders as the five team members exited the players’ tunnel.
As the game progressed, running back Tre Mason and Britt assumed the stance after Mason scored a touchdown.
Cook outlined the reason behind the stance with a statement to The Huffington Post, saying “I just think there has to be a change.”
“There has to be a change that starts with the people that are most influential around the world,” the statement continued. “No matter what happened on that day, no matter how the whole situation went down, there has to be a change.”
The SLPOA seemingly got their wish for an apology Monday when St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar sent an email saying he received an apology from Rams vice president of football operations Kevin Demoff for the players’ “hands up, don’t shoot” gesture.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Belmar revealed that Demoff spoke directly with him and wanted to “apologize to our department on behalf of the Rams for the ‘Hands Up’ gesture that some players took the field with yesterday.”
Belmar added that Demoff “clearly regretted” the implication anyone in the Rams would “minimize the outstanding work that police officers and departments carry out each and every day.”
While it looks like a win for the SLPOA, it seems more like the opposite, judging from what looks to be anything but an apology from Demoff. Check out what Demoff says really went down between him and Belmar via the following tweets from ESPN NFL Nation reporter Nick Wagoner:
Read/learn MORE at ESPN.