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Just weeks after the St. Louis Police Officers Association demanded a handful of St. Louis Rams players apologize for holding their hands up in a silent protest of police violence, a neighboring union is calling for the same thing after an NFL player honored a 12-year-old boy who died at the hands of law enforcement.

On Sunday, the president of the Cleveland police union called Cleveland Browns wide receiver Andrew Hawkins’ “Justice for Tamir Rice” shirt “pathetic.” He also said the action was “disrespectful,” and demanded an apology from the team.

Never mind the fact that a 12-year-old was shot 1.2 seconds after police responded to a call that a young boy was holding a “probably” fake gun. But, back to what the police union deems inflammatory and offensive…

Jeff Follmer said on Sunday that Hawkins’ shirt was disrespectful and demanded an apology from the Browns.

“He’s an athlete. He’s someone with no facts of the case whatsoever,” Follmer said. “He’s disrespecting the police on a job that we had to do and make a split-second decision.”

Oh, that’s right. Athletes are supposed to play ball and shut the fuck up. Because the First Amendment means nothing — unless you are wearing a badge. Got it.

He continued:

Follmer said many Cleveland police officers work security for the Browns games and are employed by Browns.

“He should stick to playing football and let us worry about law enforcement,” Follmer said. “The players don’t know what our job entails. Don’t judge us by what you’re reading in the media.”

The Browns supported Hawkins’ shirt, which also donned John Crawford’s name on the front and “The Real Battle For Ohio” on the back. The team released this statement following Hawkins’ protest:

“We have great respect for the Cleveland Police Department and the work that they do to protect and serve our city,” the statement says. “We also respect our players’ rights to project their support and bring awareness to issues that are important to them if done so in a responsible manner.”

Last week, Rice’s death was ruled a homicide. Both Crawford and Rice were shot for holding toy rifles in an open carry state.

So please, Follmer, tell us more about what it means to be “pathetic.” We’ll wait.


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