SLPOA Business Manager demands an apology
St. Louis – While the St. Louis Rams heaped piles of crap on their opponents in Nov. 30’s game (52-0 against Oakland), five of their players stepped in it at the start of the game, drawing the ire and outrage of the St. Louis Police Officers Association (SLPOA).
As the first five members of the Rams entered the field surrounded by smoke and flames, they ran in exhibiting the “hands-up-don’t-shoot” gesture that has become synonymous with assertions that Michael Brown was innocent of any wrongdoing and attempting to surrender peacefully when Police Officer Darren Wilson shot him.
"Now that the evidence is in and Officer Wilson's account has been verified by physical and ballistic evidence as well as eye-witness testimony, which led the grand jury to conclude that no probable cause existed that Wilson engaged in any wrongdoing, it is unthinkable that hometown athletes would so publicly perpetuate a narrative that has been disproven over-and-over again," said SLPOA Business Manager Jeff Roorda.
Roorda was incensed that the Rams and the NFL would tolerate such behavior and called it remarkably hypocritical.
"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.”
Their concerns were genuine. At half time, about 50 protesters showed up and marched around the dome. St. Louis police were on hand to maintain order.
‘OUT OF BOUNDS’
“Our officers have been working 12 hour shifts. They had days off, including Thanksgiving, cancelled so that they could defend this community from those on the streets that perpetuate this myth that Michael Brown was executed by a brother police officer and 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," Roorda said.
The Association demanded the players involved be disciplined and for the Rams and the NFL to deliver a very public apology. Their demands were rebuffed
The players involved were Stedman Bailey, Jared Cook, Chris Givens and receivers Tavon Austin and Kenny Britt.
"I know that there are those that will say that these players are simply exercising their First Amendment rights," 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.
“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."