September 26, 2016

Rams should apologize for sucking, not gesture

Everyone believes in the freedom of speech until that speech goes against what they believe. Besides casting a vote in an election and shouting “‘Merica!” before doing something stupid, the hypocrisy of damning others for having an opinion that contradicts our own is the most American practice in our culture.

And it’s a practice I’ll surely face after some people read this piece.

On Nov. 30, six days after a grand jury announced they would not indict Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson, five St. Louis Rams players flashed the ‘Hands up, don’t shoot’ gesture before their game against the Oakland Raiders.

Kenny Britt, one of the five players, said this expression of free speech was a signal to those in Ferguson that the Rams were thinking of them.

The St. Louis Police Officers Administration (SLPOA) released a statement that condemned  the players for their gesture, calling it “tasteless and offensive.” The SLPOA believe sthe ‘Hands up, don’t shoot’ was an insult to officers. SLPOA Business Manager Jeff Roorda said in the statement that the players called Wilson a murderer by putting their hands up.

To make up for this offense, the statement also called for a public apology from  the Rams and the NFL in addition to punishment for the players.


I am not offended by the SLPOA’s opinion that the Rams’ players did something wrong. I am offended they would demand the players be punished and the organization apologize because five Americans practiced their rights to free speech.


The last time I checked, this is America, not the People’s Republic of China, where individuals must be punished and apologize for having an opinion the government (or any extension of the government) finds offensive.

In case some of you forgot, the five Rams players are American citizens. They are entitled to their own opinions and should not be barred from expressing their speech because they play professional football. They should not be punished and shamed because their views did not line up with the views of the SLPOA or anyone else for that matter.

What Roorda, the SLPOA and many others calling for the Rams to apologize fail to realize is this: everyone has the right to an opinion and to express their opinions freely, but you do not have the right to not be offended.

I am not offended by the SLPOA’s opinion that the Rams’ players did something wrong. I am offended they would demand the players be punished and the organization apologize because five Americans practiced their rights to free speech.

The Rams have not made the playoffs since 2003 and currently have a 57-115 record since then. If they have any reason  to apologize, it’s for being an awful team these last ten years.

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