St. Louis police protest NFL team’s use of Ferguson gesture


The Rams of St. Louis raised some eyebrows among viewers–and the ire of the St. Louis police force–when some of the NFL squad’s players came out onto the field making the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” gesture popularized by protesters in nearby Ferguson.

Ferguson MO is located just twelve miles from the Edward Jones Dome, where the Rams play. The area has been beset with unease since the August shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown, and rocked by protests since a grand jury declined to bring charges against Officer Darren Wilson for the shooting.

The gesture of solidarity did not sit well with members of St. Louis’ police, who demanded an apology from the team.

A statement by the St. Louis Police Officers Association read in part:


The St. Louis Police Officers Association is profoundly disappointed with the members of the St. Louis Rams football team who chose to ignore the mountains of evidence released from the St. Louis County Grand Jury this week and engage in a display that police officers around the nation found tasteless, offensive and inflammatory.

Five members of the Rams entered the field today exhibiting the “hands-up-don’t-shoot” pose that has been adopted by protestors who accused Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson of murdering Michael Brown. The gesture has become synonymous with assertions that Michael Brown was innocent of any wrongdoing and attempting to surrender peacefully when Wilson, according to some now-discredited witnesses, gunned him down in cold blood.


Marcia Riggs, sister of Sean Riggs who died in police custody, and Carol Duggan, aunt of Mark Duggan join a protest in solidarity with the family of Michael Brown in Ferguson, United States. Protesters shouted "Hands up don't shoot!" Featuring: Atmosphere Where: London, United Kingdom When: 26 Nov 2014 Credit: Peter Maclaine/



A spokesman for the Rams said the team was unaware before the game that any of the players planned to protest.

To the SLPOA’s chagrin, the players will not be fined or disciplined. Coach Jeff Fisher said the five players involved were “exercising their right to free speech.

And Brian McCarthy, Vice President of communications for the NFL, said that the league “”respect[s] and understand[s] the concerns of all individuals who have expressed views on this tragic situation.”

The Rams went on to defeat the Raiders of Oakland by a score of 52-0.

website statistics