As protests continue across the nation in response to the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, the recent shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice has sparked even more anger amongst many. Joining other athletes who have voiced their opinions on the cases, Cleveland Browns receiver Andrew Hawkins was slammed for wearing a “Justice for Tamir Rice and John Crawford” shirt during warm-ups before Sunday’s game against the Bengals.
After Cleveland police union President Jeff Follmer criticized Hawkins for the sign of support calling the display “pathetic,” Hawkins shot back with an emotional response explaining “If I was to run away from what I felt in my soul was the right thing to do, that would make me a coward and I couldn’t live with that.
Acknowledging that not all officers should be lumped together with those who are overstepping their bounds he said, “My mom also taught me just as there are good police officers, there are some not-so-good officers who assume the worst of me without knowing anything about me for reasons I can’t control.”
Refusing to back down, Hawkins declared “A call for justice shouldn’t warrant an apology.”