Five players for the St. Louis Rams came out for pre-game introductions on Sunday with their hands raised to the sky, presumably as a gesture of solidarity with protesters in Ferguson, Missouri.
Rams tight end Jared Cook and receivers Kenny Britt, Stedman Bailey, Chris Givens and Tavon Austin entered the Edward Jones Dome arena Sunday afternoon with their hands raised. Protesters in Ferguson and cities across the United States frequently chant, "Hands up, don’t shoot" during demonstrations, which have been ongoing since last week when a Missouri grand jury did not indict former police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown in August.
The slogan references reports that Brown had been shot with his hands raised in the air.
During the pregame introductions before the Rams' game against the Oakland Raiders, five members of the Rams receiving corps took the field amid flashing lights and fanfare – with their hands up.
The sign was a clear reference to the "hands up" gesture that has become synonymous with protests in support of Mr. Brown, who was shot by a white police officer on Aug. 9. Some eyewitnesses have said Brown was shot despite having his hands up, though much of the testimony heard by a grand jury was contradictory and confused.