posted at 20:50
Author: Sam Laird
St. Louis Rams row with police over Ferguson symbols
The players entered the field with their hands held high in acknowledgement of the "Hands up, don't shoot" mantra that has become a rallying cry for supporters of Michael Brown in nearby Ferguson. "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 advertisers' 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." The story took another strange turn Monday night, when St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar reportedly said in a memo to officers that Rams Vice President of Football Operations Kevin Demoff had apologized for the players' show of support for Brown. The five Rams aren't the only to make public statements about Brown and Ferguson while they play. Washington players took the field with their hands up back in August. NBA player Ben McLemore, who is from St. Louis, played a game just this Sunday with "RIP Mike Brown" written on his shoe. The Rams play in a stadium that's a 15-minute drive from where Wilson killed Brown; that made the players' statement all the more powerful. The most poignant gesture from Sunday's NFL game that drew so much attention may not have actually been the five players putting their hands up.

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