St. Louis Rams & St. Louis Police In Dispute Over Alleged Apology For "Hands Up" Tribute
(AllHipHop News) When St. Louis Rams players Jared Cook, Kenny Britt, Stedman Bailey, Chris Givens, and Tavon Austin showed support for the people protesting Darren Wilson not being held accountable for the death of Michael Brown, the St. Louis Police Officers Association issued a statement demanding the players be "disciplined and for the Rams and the NFL to deliver a very public apology."
St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar sent a letter to his officers claiming Rams Vice President of Football Operations Kevin Demoff offered an apology for the "Hands Up, Don't Shoot" gesture at the Rams-Raiders game on Sunday. The letter was published in the St. Louis Dispatch. It read:
Members of the Department,
I received a very nice call this morning from Mr. Kevin Demoff of the St. Louis Rams who wanted to take the opportunity to apologize to our department on behalf of the Rams for the "Hands Up" gesture that some players took the field with yesterday.
Mr. Demoff clearly regretted that any members of the Ram's [sic] organization would act in a way that minimized the outstanding work that police officers and departments carry out each and every day. My impression of the call was that it was heartfelt and I assured him that I would share it with my staff.
Thank you for your hard work, ... one night to go. Stay safe.
ESPN’s Nick Wagoner later reported on Twitter that he spoke to Demoff, and the Rams executive denied offering an apology to Belmar for the player's actions.
The St. Louis County PD then posted their own tweet addressing Wagoner's report. The message featured a defintion of the word "apology" and a quote from Demoff.
Rams coach Jeff Fisher spoke about his player's participating in the "Hands Up" protest before the game. Fisher expressed his belief that Cook, Britt, Bailey, Givens, and Austin were protected by the 1st Amendment.
"As far as the choice that the players made, no, they were exercising their right to free speech," said Fisher. "They will not be disciplined by the club nor will they be disciplined by the National Football League."