November 30, St. Louis, Missouri. Many are finding fault with the St. Louis Rams Players who entered the field with their hands in the air as a protest of what has recently occurred in Ferguson. The pose they struck is the notorious “hands up, don’t shoot” protesters have used to mimic the pose many reported Michael Brown was in when he died. Autopsy results, however, did not confirm this position, but for a time, this was the pose of those showing solidarity with the decedent and Ferguson as a whole.
The individuals in question here are entitled to have their protest although many are calling for them to be fined or suspended as a protest of this nature is reportedly a violation of some NFL regulations. Regardless, if one supports free speech, then all “speech” should be protected. A person’s ignorance or misinformation notwithstanding, these players have a right to their opinion and to express it. Media also have a right to expose them.
#12 is Stedman Bailey, a wide receiver who attended West Virginia. He did not graduate and served a four game suspension this season for violating performance enhancing drug policy of the NFL. #11 is Tavon Austin, a fellow wide receiver from West Virginia. He, too, left West Virginia as a Junior and is not a college graduate. Jared Cook is #89, a tight end from South Carolina. He played four seasons at South Carolina, but his degree cannot be confirmed. Chris Givens wears #13 and played college ball at Wake Forest. He played a senior season, but no degree can be confirmed. #81 is worn by Kenny Britt, Rutgers. It does not appear he graduated, but nine brushes with the law, including a high speed chase, have been recorded since he entered the NFL in 2009.
Read More: Who Is Really To Blame For Ferguson?
What is the purpose in stating all these facts about these NFL protesters? As black men in highly visible, prestigious positions, they are admired and emulated by young men of all races. These men have achieved a coveted position in the NFL to which many young athletes aspire. Many inner city youth see athletics as one of the few avenues that will lead them out of poverty. So what do these men do with that notoriety? They protest. What do they do with a free 4-year education? The squander it and fail to graduate. These athletes make millions and most are absolutely destitute within 5 years of leaving the NFL. This group, in particular, has numerous league infractions and brushes with the law while still playing. Great example, guys.
Nevertheless, they have every right to protest, unless they have broken an NFL rule here. What is truly disturbing, however, is that the “hands up, don’t shoot” crowd seems to be morphing into an “arms up, shoot back” crowd. Showing solidarity with either group is tantamount to encouraging violence. Much like the sex tape Mr. Britt released earlier this year, his mother is very proud, this gesture, too may result in regret. Will they feel justified if an armed teen strikes out at law enforcement and ends up dead?
A race war seems to be brewing and the thugs and #SolidarityWithFerguson folks are going to find themselves responsible for even greater damage to race relations and young lives in Ferguson and beyond. It is time for the rational to regain control of this situation before more young people of any color are destroyed.
H/T: Conservative Tribune