(CNN) — A group representing police in St. Louis says it’s infuriated after several St. Louis Rams players raised their hands Sunday in solidarity with protesters upset at Michael Brown’s death.
The St. Louis Police Officers Association says it’s “profoundly disappointed” with those players for the St. Louis Rams. The players sent a silent but strong message before they took the field Sunday against the Oakland Raiders, raising their palms in the air, repeating the “hands up, don’t shoot” gesture that protesters in Ferguson have been using for months.
Some say that Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, had his arms raised when a white police officer, Darren Wilson, shot him to death on August 9. Wilson and others say Brown was not trying to surrender and in fact was attacking Wilson.
The association called for the Rams and the NFL to apologize and discipline the players involved.
The players “chose to ignore the mountains of evidence released from the St. Louis County Grand Jury this week,” the police association said in a statement.
“The gesture has become synonymous with assertions that Michael Brown was innocent of any wrongdoing and attempting to surrender peacefully when Wilson, according to some now-discredited witnesses, gunned him down in cold blood,” the police association wrote.
The statement quoted the association’s business manager, Jeff Roorda, as saying that “it is unthinkable that homegrown athletes would so publicly perpetuate a narrative that has been disproven over and over again.”
“I’d remind the NFL and their players that it is not the violent thugs burning down buildings that buy their advertisers’ products. It’s cops and the good people of St. Louis and other NFL towns that do.”
The NFL will not discipline the players for making the sign, an NFL spokesman said in a Monday statement.