Report: Rams Won’t Be Fined For ‘Hands Up’ Gesture
The NFL will not discipline five St. Louis Rams players who gave the "hands up, don't shoot" gesture on the field just prior to their game with the Oakland Raiders on Sunday. That's according to ESPN's Chris Mortensen, who reports that sources within the NFL have told him no fines are being considered, nor is an apology.
The players were protesting the Ferguson grand jury decision to not prosecute over the police shooting death of Michael Brown in August.
This will cause great gnashing of teeth over at the St. Louis Police Officers Association, which sent a strongly-worded statement to the NFL on Sunday demanding discipline for the players, and an apology.
In response, Brian McCarthy, the NFL's VP of communications, released a statement Monday: "We respect and understand the concerns of all individuals who have expressed views on this tragic situation."
In other words, here's the First Amendment to the Constitution. Please read it.
We know that's an unusual stance for the NFL to take, seeing that they run their league like King Joffrey. But do you blame them for not wanting to get involved in this mess? Because to fine the players would result in all kinds of publicity, and the NFLPA would get involved, and there would be interviews and Janay Rice might do The Today Show just out of habit.
Here's SLPOA business manager Jeff Roorda, fuming about the Rams' players in a statement on Sunday:
"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."
So, he's calling for a boycott of the NFL? Good luck, Jeff. If the domestic violence issue didn't cause a dent in league popularity (numbers among female TV viewers are up over last season), do you think this will?
Also, you spelled "violent thugs" correctly, but misplaced the apostrophe in "advertiser's", unless you were referring to just one. And it should be "NFL and 'its' players". For gosh sakes, you're the business manager. Anyway, Kim Jong Un approves of your message.
Now that precedent's been set, will other NFL teams follow with their own protests? Week 14 might get interesting.