The Washington Redskins defensive backfield took to the grass at FedEx Field on Monday Night Football in a “hands up” gesture in support for slain teenager Michael Brown and the protestors on his behalf in Missouri. The nothing-to-hide body language has become the iconic imagery, along with looted stores, in the demonstrations on behalf of Michael Brown, an alleged thief killed in a confrontation with the police in Ferguson, Missouri.
I asked #Redskins official about players coming out with “hands up” in tribute to Michael Brown. Doesn’t look like they knew it was coming.
— Chuck Carroll (@TheChuckCarroll) August 19, 2014
“We just want to show our supporters what’s going on in St. Louis,” safety Brandon Meriweather said after the game. “We just wanted to show support.” Meriweather, hardly known for hands-up passivity, fired at several thieves in 2006 who had shot a friend in the buttocks.
The Redskins defeated the Browns in the game broadcast nationally by ESPN. Johnny Manziel’s second-half gesture using one finger quickly trumped the pregame demonstration relying on both hands.
The on-field demonstration was the brainchild of Meriweather and cornerback DeAngelo Hall. Second-year safety Phillip Thomas told the Washington Post that in raising his hands he was “just going with the program.”