The non-indictment of police officer Darren Wilson in the murder of unarmed teen Michael Brown remains a pressing national topic with high tension continuing in Ferguson, Mo.
On Sunday, the St. Louis Rams recognized Ferguson's troubles and offered a pregame salute before their home game against the Oakland Raiders. Rams wide receivers Tavon Austin, Stedman Bailey, Kenny Britt and Chris Givens and tight end Jared Cook stopped at the tunnel and raised their arms to tribute Brown, who some witnesses say had his arms up before Wilson fatally shot him on August 9. "We kind of came collectively together and decided we wanted to do something," Cook said.
"We haven't been able to go down to Ferguson to do anything because we have been busy. Secondly, it's kind of dangerous down there and none of us want to get caught up in anything. So we wanted to come out and show our respect to the protests and the people who have been doing a heck of a job around the world," Cook told ESPN.
Britt added: "We wanted to show that we are organized for a great cause and something positive comes out of it. That's what we hope we can make happen. That's our community. We wanted to let the community know that we support the community."
Although the gesture made national headlines, it wasn't received well by everyone. The St. Louis Police Officers Association refuted the Rams' salute via a statement to the media Sunday night.
"The SLPOA is calling for the players involved to be disciplined and for the Rams and the NFL to deliver a very public apology," they wrote in a statement, as reported by ESPN. "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."
This weekend also saw the resignation of Wilson from the police department.
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(Photo: AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)