The St. Louis Police Officers Association was “profoundly disappointed” after some NFL players of the Rams entered their home field Sunday with their arms raised, showing support for nearby Ferguson, the association said in a statement.
Players Jared Cook, Kenny Britt, Stedman Bailey, Chris Givens and Tavon Austin stopped near the tunnel and raised their hands during introductions Sunday, acknowledging the fatal shooting of teenager Michael Brown by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson Aug. 9. A grand jury declined to indict Wilson in the shooting one week ago.
Cook said the players believed it was important to do something.
"We haven't been able to go down to Ferguson to do anything because we have been busy. Secondly, it's kind of dangerous down there and none of us want to get caught up in anything,” Cook said after the game against the Oakland Raiders. “So we wanted to come out and show our respect to the protests and the people who have been doing a heck of a job around the world."
Britt claimed that he and his teammates were not "taking sides" with their display.
"We wanted to show that we are organized for a great cause and something positive comes out of it," Britt said. "That's what we hope we can make happen. That's our community. We wanted to let the community know that we support the community."
Despite that intention, the St. Louis Police Officers Association released a statement Sunday night decrying the players' display.
"The SLPOA is calling for the players involved to be disciplined and for the Rams and the NFL to deliver a very public apology," the statement read in part.
“Now that the evidence is in and Officer Wilson's account has been verified by physical and ballistic evidence as well as eye-witness testimony, which led the grand jury to conclude that no probable cause existed that Wilson engaged in any wrongdoing, it is unthinkable that hometown athletes would so publicly perpetuate a narrative that has been disproven over-and-over again,” SLPOA Business Manager Jeff Roorda said in the statement.
Roorda said he plans to speak to the NFL and the Rams to voice the organization’s displeasure with the players’ display, according to the statement.
ESPN contributed to this report.