I remember when some idiots criticized the Miami Heat for standing up for what they believed was right in the Trayvon Martin situation. No doubt the Heat players may have rubbed some folks the wrong way but they did not care instead you had guys like Lebron James, D Wade and the rest of the Heat make a bold statement. Black lives do matter and the Miami Heat in a day and age when most athletes only cared about their next endorsement deal put that on front street. This past weekend the St Louis Rams followed suit with a statement of their own.
Several members of the St. Louis Rams stood up before a game against the Oakland Raiders. It started before the game when wide receivers Kenny Britt and Tavon Austin came out of the tunnel with their hands up, in the now widely recognized “hands up don’t shoot” gesture in support of the grieving family of Michael Brown. Then Stedman Bailey, Jared Cook, and Chris Givens joined them. Moments later running back Tre Mason put up his hands after scoring a touchdown. Powerful statement St Louis Rams and we applaud them for it.
After the game, Britt said according to the AP “I don’t want the people in the community to feel like we turned a blind eye to it….What would I like to see happen? Change in America.” That is what this act was all about promoting change in America. Change for the good so that all people of all races can feel safe and protected by the very people who were sworn to serve and protect them. Not to murder them.
This act of courage did not go unnoticed by the St Louis Police Officers Assosciation who slammed the players actions and promised an organized response against the NFL, the players, and the team. They also released a statement demanding punishment for the players who took part in the act calling it “tasteless” and “offensive.” Offensive to who ? The tone of the Officers Assosciation in my opinion is very troubling. It comes off as threatening and combative. What an insult this is to the intelligence of the American people.
Back in 1968 when pro athletes did not make as much they do today America was a troubling place to be for people of color and track stars Dr. John Carlos and Tommie Smith, famously raised their fists in Mexico City at the Olympics to voice their displeasure with the way they were discriminated against in America. They protested the way black folks were being treated in their own country. It is great to see that kind of thinking still exists today. The message of John Carlos and Tommie Smith still rings loud and clear . The message is to use that stage, use the platform that you have, and make a statement. Stand up for something. Certainly a lot more athletes need to step up and speak up as these courageous young men did. Just like the Miami Heat stood up in the wake of the killing of Trayvon Martin, the St Louis Rams have done the same in the wake of Michael Brown’s death . It is our hope that more athletes and entertainers alike will be brave enough to stand up and fight against injustice. Martin Luther King once said..”Injustice anywhere …is a threat to justice everywhere” We salute the St Louis Rams for standing up for justice.