Five football players walk onto the field with the arms held up in the ‘Don’t Shoot’ stance that has come to symbolize the tensions in Ferguson, Missouri. It was in their words – a show of support for the community, an acknowledgment that the real world is dealing with real problems but we are going to pause to play football in the middle of it.
The St. Louis police department demanded an immediate and public apology from the NFL and the St. Louis Rams. They got neither yet they released a statement today that they did get an apology. Then the Rams released a statement saying – we didn’t apologize for anything.
We can critique the player’s information and disagree with their choice of public support, but they owe no one an apology. They didn’t stop the game, they didn’t hurt anyone, they didn’t hold a vile press conference spewing hate and anger all over the airwaves. They didn’t even cause that much of a ripple…until the SLPD decided to get involved.
The irony of all this? A few months ago the community demanded from the police department and district attorney’s office to bring in a 3rd party to hear the trial. The nation got to see that response – they ignored it. Karma? Payback?
Once again, this is a very public display of a police department and city government that really doesn’t get it. What would have been around 10 minutes of coverage, they’ve turned into yet another chapter of media firestorm to this story.
It would seem that the police have more important things to be concerned about than the silent protest of a handful of NFL players. However, it may be wise for those particular players to avoid Ferguson and any encounters with law enforcement in the near future.