(by Matt Cantor, Newser) -- At yesterday's game, five players for the St. Louis Rams took to the field with their hands up, showing solidarity with protesters against the shooting of Michael Brown. "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," says tight end Jared Cook, who says he plans to visit Ferguson, ESPN reports. The demonstration left the St. Louis Police Officers Association fuming. The organization is "profoundly disappointed with the members of the St. Louis Rams football team who chose to ignore the mountains of evidence released from the St. Louis County Grand Jury this week and engage in a display that police officers around the nation found tasteless, offensive, and inflammatory," it said in a statement, as per KSDK.
"It is unthinkable that hometown athletes would so publicly perpetuate a narrative that has been disproven over and over again," the statement quotes an association spokesman as saying, referring to the idea that former officer Darren Wilson, "according to some now-discredited witnesses, gunned (Michael Brown) down in cold blood." The statement goes on to criticize players for taking such a stand at a time when police were ensuring the safety of the game. The association calls for a "very public apology" from the Rams and the NFL. "I'd remind the NFL and their players that it is not the violent thugs burning down buildings that buy their advertisers' products," says the spokesman. "It's cops and the good people of St. Louis."