Five members of the St. Louis Rams used the pregame introduction to give the ‘hands up’ gesture connected to Ferguson protesters supporting slain teen Michael Brown. In light of this action, the NAACP has released the following statement:
The NAACP applauds the St. Louis Rams players who raised their hands over their heads in the â€œhands up, donâ€™t shootâ€ gesture that has become emblematic of the protests in Ferguson, Missouri, where Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager was shot dead. Our nationâ€™s athletes play an important role as activists. They wield an influence and boast a platform that can be neither overlooked nor negated. The NAACP is heartened by the fact that some of the St. Louis Rams players used their voices to send a resounding message of justice to the world. Whether we are invoking the names of John Carlos, Tommie Smith, Billie Jean King or Muhammad Ali, we know that choosing courage over comfort is never an easy decision, especially for well-known athletes. We applaud these players for their courageous gesture.