St. Louis police officers condemned the NFL's Rams today, calling their pre-game display of the "hands up don't shoot" gesture to be "tasteless, offensive and inflammatory." The lengthy statement issued by the St. Louis Police Officers Association demanded Stedman Bailey, Tavon Austin, Jared Cook, Chris Givens, and Kenny Britt be punished for the act:
The SLPOA is calling for the players involved to be disciplined and for the Rams and the NFL to deliver a very public apology. Roorda said he planned to speak to the NFL and the Rams to voice his organization's displeasure tomorrow. He also plans to reach out to other police organizations in St. Louis and around the country to enlist their input on what the appropriate response from law enforcement should be. Roorda warned, "I know that there are those that will say that these players are simply exercising their First Amendment rights. 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."
"Roorda" is SLPOA business manager Jeff Roorda, a former cop who was fired for repeatedly lying and falsifying reports and who now pushes his anti-transparency campaign in Missouri's legislature. You can read the full statement over at KSDK.