In their first game since unrest broke out in Ferguson, Mo., after a grand jury failed to indict police officer Darren Wilson in Mike Brown’s shooting, the St. Louis Rams made a big national statement. During pre-game introductions, several players ran out onto the field with their hands up, the gesture that’s been most associated with civil disobedience since Brown’s death in August. The players were Stedman Bailey, Tavon Austin, Jared Cook, Chris Givens and Kenny Britt.
Hours after the display of solidarity, the St. Louis Police Officers Association issued a statement condemning the team. The statement read in part:
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.
Watch video of the team’s players below.
It’s not the first time this season that the protests from Ferguson have reached the football field. Shortly after Brown’s death, members of Washington, D.C.’s NFL team made the "hands up, don’t shoot" gesture.
Weeks later, during a Rams home game against the visiting San Francisco 49ers, protestors from the organizing effort Ferguson October made their way into the stadium and unfurled a "Black Lives Matter" on primetime television.
Images from Getty