The reaction to a quintet of St. Louis Rams wide receivers and tight ends staging a “hands up, don’t shoot” protest during player introductions today has been met with mixed reactions from praise and solidarity to admonishment on Facebook and inside the Edward Jones Dome. The final score of the Rams 52-0 demolition of the Oakland Raiders won’t be the talking point on First Take or any ESPN show tomorrow, it will be the strongly worded reaction by the St. Louis County Police Officers Association.

The group stated “profound disappointment” at the gesture by the Rams players, wide receivers Tavon Austin, Stedman Bailey, Kenny Britt, Chris Givens and tight end Jared Cook and wants the NFL to discipline them for their actions.


“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.

“SLPOA Business Manager Jeff Roorda said, ‘now that the evidence is in and Officer Wilson’s account has been verified by physical and ballistic evidence as well as eye-witness testimony, which led the grand jury to conclude that no probable cause existed that Wilson engaged in any wrongdoing, it is unthinkable that hometown athletes would so publicly perpetuate a narrative that has been disproven over-and-over again.’

“The SLPOA is calling for the players involved to be disciplined and for the Rams and the NFL to deliver a very public apology. Roorda said he planned to speak to the NFL and the Rams to voice his organization’s displeasure tomorrow. He also plans to reach out to other police organizations in St. Louis and around the country to enlist their input on what the appropriate response from law enforcement should be. Roorda warned, ‘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.’”

The statement was written by Jeff Roorda, a Democratic Missouri State Representative who has gone on record to tab himself as a friend of Darren Wilson as well as one of the men behind a fundraiser for Wilson should he have faced legal consequence in the wake of the August 9th shooting of Michael Brown. Roorda, who was fired as a police officer in 2001 for falsifying police reports has since deleted his Twitter account.