Five St. Louis Rams players offered a hands-up homage to slain teenager Michael Brown before the team’s game against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday afternoon.
Rams pass catchers Jared Cook, Kenny Britt, Stedman Bailey, Chris Givens, and Tavon Austin lifted their arms in the “hands up” gesture attributed to Michael Brown, killed in an August encounter with a Ferguson policeman after he had robbed a convenience store. The demonstration occurred during pregame introductions with the house lights dimmed in the Edward Jones Dome. Strobe lights and dry ice dramatized the effect of the show of support for Brown.
Activists applauded the made-for-TV moment on Twitter. Other Twittericans booed.
Much love to the St Louis Rams who came out of the tunnel today with “hands up, don’t shoot” sign. Sad that everyone on the team didn’t
— Tim Wise (@timjacobwise) November 30, 2014
— Christopher Jones (@JonesChrisA) November 25, 2014
Did the Rams just run onto the field with their hands up to honor Mike Brown? When are they moving to L.A.? #Rams
— Thomas Peroutka (@ThomasPeroutka) November 30, 2014
The Rams players who did the “hands up don’t shoot” are so stupid..,the man who said he did that recanted because IT NEVER HAPPENED
— israel carrero (@theturnupisrael) November 30, 2014
CBS cameras captured the activism for the viewing audience for the regionally-broadcast game.
The grand jury declining to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, who resigned his position this weekend, didn’t buy into the idea of a docile Michael Brown raising his hands in response to the cop’s commands. One witness explained that the 18-year-old “never put his hands up” and “ran towards the officer full charge.”
The Rams embraced this “full charge” approach on Sunday. The injection of activism into a football game, let alone the unrest in nearby Ferguson, didn’t distract the team. St. Louis destroyed the Oakland Raiders before a home crowd surely grateful for the respite from riots, violence, looting, and other troubles that plagued the area in the immediate wake of last week’s decision not to pursue charges against Wilson.
The Rams, who have defeated the Seattle Seahawks, Denver Broncos, and San Francisco 49ers this season but lost several games against inferior competition, put a 52-0 beating on the hapless Raiders. Stedman Bailey, one of the five players involved in the pregame theatrics, caught five passes for 100 yards.