Following Sunday night football’s “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot,” silent demonstration in support of Ferguson protesters demanding justice for Michael Brown Jr., the St. Louis Police Officers Association called for the punishment and an apology from the St. Louis Ram players who participated.
And they got it. Well, according to St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar.
Hours after Rams coach Jeff Fisher publicly said the players — tight end Jared Cook and wide receivers Stedman Baily, Tavon Austin, Chris Givens, and Kenny Britt — would not be disciplined, Belmar sent an email to his staff alerting them that the executive vice president of football operations for the Rams, Kevin Demoff, called to apologize.
“I received a very nice call this morning from Mr. Kevin Demoff of the St. Louis Rams who wanted to take the opportunity to apologize to our department on behalf of the Rams for the “Hands Up” gesture that some players took the field with yesterday,” Belmar wrote.
“Mr. Demoff clearly regretted that any members of the Ram’s organization would act in a way that minimized the outstanding work that police officers and departments carry out each and every day. My impression of the call was that it was heartfelt and I assured him that I would share it with my staff.”
But according to Demoff, that “heartfelt” conversation never ended in an apology.
“This morning, I had phone conversations with both Chief Dotson and Chief Belmar regarding yesterday’s events,” Demoff said. “I expressed to both of them that I felt badly that our players’ support of the community was taken as disrespectful to law enforcement.
“Later in the afternoon I had a positive meeting with Chief Dotson, Jeff Roorda, and Gabe Crocker at St. Louis city police headquarters to discuss with them how the Rams’ organization and law enforcement could build upon the positive relationship we already have. We began a good dialogue but recognize there is work to be done to strengthen our relationship.”
“In none of these conversations did I apologize for our players’ actions. I did say in each conversation that I regretted any offense their officers may have taken. We do believe it is possible to both support our players’ First Amendment rights and support the efforts of local law enforcement as our community begins the process of healing.
“Chief Belmar’s assertion that our conversation was heartfelt is accurate, and I would characterize our conversation as productive. Our organization wants to find ways to use football to bring our community together.”
Looks to us like a classic case of miscommunication.
For more on the St. Louis Police Officers Association apology demand, including a scathing statement released to denounce the “tasteless, offensive and inflammatory” silent protest against their beloved Darren Wilson, click here.
Ironic they would use those adjectives, really.
SOURCE: St. Louis Dispatch | VIDEO SOURCE: News Inc.