A St. Louis police officers' group called on the NFL to punish five Rams players who stood with their hands raised before trotting onto the field for pregame introductions Sunday, reports Fox News.
The St. Louis Police Officers' Association said it was "profoundly disappointed" with what it called a "display that police officers around the nation found tasteless, offensive and inflammatory." It called for the players involved to be disciplined and for both the league and team to issue a "very public apology."
The so-called "hands up, don't shoot" gesture has been commonly used by demonstrators protesting the decision of a St. Louis County grand jury to not indict Officer Darren Wilson in the August 9 shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown in suburban Ferguson, Mo.
SLPOA Business Manager Jeff Roorda was quoted in a statement released by the organization as saying " All week long, the Rams and the NFL were on the phone with the St. Louis Police Department asking for assurances that the players and the fans would be kept safe from the violent protesters who had rioted, looted, and burned buildings in Ferguson ... then, as the players and their fans sit safely in their dome under the watchful protection of hundreds of St. Louis's finest, they take to the turf to call a now-exonerated officer a murderer, that is way out-of-bounds, to put it in football parlance."