Many people have asked my opinion on the decision of a few players on the St. Louis Rams to raise their hands as they took the field Sunday in a show of solidarity with Ferguson protesters, so here it goes. Bear with me.
It really isn’t that big of a deal. It was five players out of the fifty-three man roster, less than ten percent. None of the fifteen or so coaches participated. So, out of about seventy people that came through the tunnel, about seven percent of the team joined in on this nonsense. If we, the police, are so quick to condemn the manner in which the actions of a few being used to reflect on the whole, how can we do the same? The St. Louis Rams are not an anti-cop organization. They have a few ignorant employees. We’ve all got them.
About 68% of the St. Louis Rams players are black, according to The Unofficial 2014 NFL Player Census. St. Louis, which is pretty close to Ferguson, is the team’s city. I don’t have any numbers on it, but the application of common sense indicates that a large percentage of players come from large urban populations. The fact that only seven percent of the players on the team participated is actually encouraging to me.
Now, on to the NFL’s decision not to discipline the players over the gesture. The NFL is in a tough spot on this one. It really is a no-win situation for them. Their best bet is to let it blow over. Disciplining the players would lead to more stories, more reporters asking about it, and more sound bites played on a loop on SportsCenter and other media outlets. The more the media-driven outrage from both sides of the issue, the more negative attention that would be drawn to the NFL. The voice of the police there is much less pronounced than that of the players. The NFL is a business. Not disciplining the players is a smart business decision.
Now, don’t get me wrong, the players are ignorant, uninformed fools for engaging in the protest. I’m all for fans burning their jerseys, trolling their Twitter feeds, and voicing their displeasure. After all, freedom of speech does not equal freedom from consequence. Some NFL players are quality people, men that would have contributed greatly to society without their football talent. Some are not. It is what it is.
4 thoughts on “My Thoughts on the St. Louis Rams”
I just wanted to comment regarding your comment and let you know that, that was very well put and obviously you put some thought into it. I responded differently when I saw what the players had done but I responded hastily and with what was just anger. I feel more protective over the Job now. Probably because my career was cut short and not by my doing and by that happening I can’t be there daily to protect my squad, my people, from this type of bull shit persecution. I miss my fellow brothers and sisters in law-enforcement very badly. Every time a patrol car goes by running code I say a quick prayer and instead of “Amen” I end it with “Go get em boys”. I wasn’t ready to retire. I was young. I was 35, had been a Sergeant for 2 years. I had the best squad and the best job in Law Enforcement. You sound like you really have your thumb on the pulse so to speak and your response was intelligent and to the point. I just wanted to let you know that I really enjoy your site and your insight on topics such as this. I know you probably don’t feel this way but I feel that you speak very well for the law-enforcement community. A sincere thanks for keeping this site going. It allows me to still feel involved in the one Job that was truly my passion, my calling. Stay safe out there.
Sgt. Jake Bratten, Retired
Avon Park Police Department (Consolidated w/ Highlands County Sheriffs Office, Florida)
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Thanks, Sarge! I appreciate it.
Very well put. I was starting to let myself get worked up over it. Your post really settled me down. The actions of a few should never be the poster for the many. Thank you for your thoughts. Stay safe out there, I’ll be there soon.
Very well said. I too got caught up in the disgust of a few and have been pissed off of the Rams and the NFL, but after reading your thoughts I completely agree. Thank you. Stay Safe.
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