No fine for Rams players involved in Ferguson protest: NFL

Tue Dec 2, 2014 2:54am EST
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By Steve Ginsburg

(Reuters) - The National Football League said on Monday it would not discipline the St. Louis Rams players who staged a show of solidarity with people angry about the shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri.

Five Rams players emerged from the tunnel before their game Sunday with their hands raised, the same way some witnesses say 18-year-old Michael Brown had gestured before he was fatally shot by officer Darren Wilson in August.

"We respect and understand the concerns of all individuals who have expressed views on this tragic situation," National Football League spokesman Brian McCarthy said.

He said none of the players who took part in the protest would be fined or suspended.

A grand jury declined to indict Wilson last week, leading to riots in Ferguson and civil disobedience in several U.S. cities. The "hands up, don't shoot" pose has been a familiar posture with protesters.

Wilson has since resigned from the Ferguson police force.

The St. Louis Police Officers Association was angered by the Rams' protest at Sunday's game, calling for the players involved to be disciplined and for the team and the NFL to apologize.

"I know that there are those that will say that these players are simply exercising their First Amendment rights," said Jeff Roorda, the association's business manager. "Cops have first amendment rights too, and we plan to exercise ours."   Continued...

Nov 30, 2014; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams wide receiver Stedman Bailey (12) and wide receiver Tavon Austin (11) and tight end Jared Cook (89) and wide receiver Chris Givens (13) and wide receiver Kenny Britt (81) put their hands up to show support for Michael Brown before a game against the Oakland Raiders at the Edward Jones Dome. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports