Rams Players Come Out With Hands Up In Pregame Intros

Rams Players Come Out With Hands Up In Pregame Intros
by Chris Strauss
Source: ftw.usatoday.com
Corrections and clarifications: This story was amended to correct that grand jury, not prosecutor, decided not to indict.

Prior to Sunday’s game versus the Oakland Raiders, several members of the St. Louis Rams offense came out during pregame introductions with their hands up as they entered the field at the Edward Jones Dome.

(Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports)

Wide receivers Stedman Bailey, Tavon Austin, Chris Givens and Kenny Britt and tight end Jared Cook all took the field displaying the gesture, which mimics the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” stance that has become a frequent image among protesters since the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown by police officer Darren Wilson in nearby Ferguson, Mo. in August.

While the players and Rams have not yet confirmed whether the gesture was related to the recent protests after a grand jury’s decision Monday not to indict Wilson, a number of other athletes did respond to the news from Ferguson via social media and in interviews earlier this week.

(Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports)

Update: Several of the players discussed the gesture with the Associated Press after the team’s 52-0 win over Oakland.

“I just think there has to be a change,” Cook said. “There has to be a change that starts with the people that are most influential around the world.

“No matter what happened on that day, no matter how the whole situation went down, there has to be a change.”

Rams coach Jeff Fisher said he was unaware the statement had been planned by the players.

“I don’t want the people in the community to feel like we turned a blind eye to it,” Britt added. “What would I like to see happen? Change in America.”

The St. Louis Police Officers Association released a statement condemning the display Sunday night.

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