Things are getting pretty poisonous between the nation’s police and its NFL players.
A union representing Cleveland police officers is demanding an apology from the Cleveland Browns after Browns wide receiver Andrew Hawkins took the field Sunday wearing a jersey demanding “justice” for the victims of two unintentional police shootings.
The incident comes two weeks after St. Louis Rams players took the field flashing the liberal-chic “hands up, don’t shoot” posture, inflaming a city already awash in violence over the grand jury’s decision in the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Mo. St. Louis police demanded — but didn’t get — an apology in that case.
On Sunday, the shirt Hawkins wore said “Justice for Tamir Rice – John Crawford.”
Tamir Rice is the 12-year-old who was shot to death by a Cleveland police officer Nov. 22 in a city park. He was holding a pellet gun the officer mistook for a real weapon.
Crawford is the Walmart shopper who was shot to death by police in August in Beavercreek, Ohio, about 200 miles southwest of Cleveland. He was holding an air gun at the time.
Jeff Folmer, president of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association, issued a scathing statement in response.
It’s pretty pathetic when athletes think they know the law. They should stick to what they know best on the field. The Cleveland Police protect and serve the Browns stadium and the Browns organization owes us an apology.
They’re not going to get one.
In a statement, the Brown said Hawkins was within his rights.
We have great respect for the Cleveland Police Department and the work that they do to protect and serve our city. We also respect our players’ rights to project their support and bring awareness to issues that are important to them if done so in a responsible manner.
That’s corporate PR speak for “talk to the hand.”
And it would be fine, if “justice” in this parlance meant the rule of law. It doesn’t. It means the rule of the mob — whether it’s in Ferguson, Mo., New York City, Oakland, Calif., or wherever Al Sharpton happens to be parking his road show.
And by taking the “neutral” stance the Browns did, the NFL is supporting the mob’s idea of “justice” at the implied expense of the nation’s police officers. The league knows every black kid and white kid in the country is watching it — was well as every black and white cop. The question is whether it cares.
Twitter opinions varied, but with predictable results. Race-mongering mouthpieces like Michael Eric Dyson, the Georgetown University professor who recently called former New York Gov. Rudy Giuliani a “white supremacist” for stating the obvious about black-on-black crime praised Hawkins.
But the responses were unsparing.
Much respect to the Cleveland @Browns players for showing the courage to take a stand for victims of police killings! http://t.co/JjbGx98nlF
— Michael Eric Dyson (@MichaelEDyson) December 15, 2014
Would @MichaelEDyson like to comment on this call for dead cops from protesters? https://t.co/bPYgck2uHf @Browns
— Todd (@DCToddM) December 15, 2014
@NateUlrichABJ should’ve worn a shirt saying he supported better parents for Tamir Rice. Or is that not politically correct?
— Brad Heter (@BHeat33) December 14, 2014
But not without the American humor that’s going to pull us out of this racial mess in the end.
@twithersAP maybe he should wear one that says “catch the ball”
— Mark Mitchen (@yipper123) December 15, 2014
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