By R.B. FALLSTROM
ST. LOUIS (AP) Five St. Louis Rams players stood with their arms raised in an apparent show of solidarity for Ferguson protesters before trotting onto the field for pregame introductions
A Rams spokesman said Sunday the team was not aware the gesture had been planned before the game against Oakland.
Wide receivers Tavon Austin and Kenny Britt came out together first, with the move obscured by a smoke machine in the upper reaches of the Edward Jones Dome. Stedman Bailey, Jared Cook and Chris Givens – all of whom are Black – then came out and stood together with arms raised.
There have been riots, looting and buildings burned in Ferguson since a grand jury declined Monday to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of unarmed Michael Brown in August.
ST. LOUIS RAMS’ HEROIC ACTION RECALLS BLACK POWER SALUTE AT 1968 OLYMPICS
By Diane Bukowski
December 1, 2014
DETROIT – St. Louis Rams players Tavon Austin, Kenny Britt Stedman Bailey, Jared Cook and Chris Givens entered the playing field Sunday, Nov. 30, raising their hands in solidarity with Michael Brown and the people of Ferguson, in the wake of a grand jury’s exoneration of Brown’s killer KKKop executioner Darren Wilson.
Their action strongly echoed the heroic stand taken by Black Olympics athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos, along with white Australian Peter Norman, during the 1968 Olympics.
The two Black athletes, accepting their victory medals, took their shoes off first to solidarize with the poverty of people in their communities. Then they put beads on to represent their opposition to lynchings. Then, heads solemnly bowed, they raised their fists in the Black Power salute representing the mass civil and human rights movements of their times.
Norman stood on the victory stand in front of them, expressing his own solidarity with the Black struggle in the U.S. All three were banned from professional and non-professional sports for the rest of their lives
See video below:
Now the mass media is on the attack against the Rams’ players as well, publicizing and printing a statement from the St. Louis KKKops demanding an apology. The same papers which have printed this statement have refused to fully cover the Nov. 28 statement by the United Nations Committee Against Torture, which condemned police atrocities against Blacks in the U.S., as well as conditions in U.S. prisons including solitary confinement which amount to torture. (Click on UN Committee on Torture Report on US 11 20 14. and VOD story at http://voiceofdetroit.net/2014/11/29/u-s-killings-by-police-prison-conditions-trouble-united-nations/.)
Fortunately, the NFL and Rams administrators have refused to sanction the players involved. But there will likely be more attacks on these heroic Rams from professional sports bigots in the coming days.
What Tommie Smith, John Carlos and Peter Norman did in 1968 and what Tavon Austin, Kenny Britt, Stedman Bailey, Jared Cook and Chris Givens did in 2014 will be forever remembered in the journals of the people’s history. Both actions took place during mass movements for justice for Black people in the U.S., as protesters occupied the streets, marched by the millions, and went to jail to stand up against this racist, imperialist police and prison nation known as the United States.
These athletes used the power of their names and publicity to join the movement for their people and will forever be considered heroes.