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Why the Rams Shouldn’t Be Disciplined for Their Gesture of Solidarity

Photograph by TNS via Getty Images

If there is a Broncos game on TV I watch it with my husband. I knew nothing of football when we first started dating but he invited me over to watch a game, so like a good little librarian, I started doing my research. I printed myself up some flashcards, learned the rules and dropped into the teen button-making program to make some sporty buttons. In our wedding vows I promised to be a Broncos fan in sickness and in health (our wedding was the week after last year's horrible Superbowl) and I think my husband appreciated the show of loyalty.

With the past year's scandals—particularly the Ray Rice incident—I've been thinking more about football and our culture of violence. The recent decision of the grand jury to not indict Darren Wilson has been all over the news and social media and has launched protests nationwide. Yesterday five players from the St. Louis Rams came out before the game against the Raiders with their hands up as a gesture of solidarity for Ferguson protesters.

If the Rams throwing their hands up sparked even a few open honest conversation about race, then I think it was a winning play

I saw the story in my Facebook feed today and my initial reaction was, Go Rams! I was personally upset by the grand jury's decision to not indict and saw it as just another injustice in a country riddled with racism and police brutality. I'm sure the backlash will be strong and the St. Louis Police Officers Association has already issued a statement demanding an apology and wants the players involved to be disciplined.

While the NFL has been dropping the ball a lot lately, I, for one, was heartened to see this display of social consciousness from their players. I sincerely hope they do the right thing here and do not discipline these players. Their actions weren't an attack on the St. Louis Police Department, they were simply letting the world know they stand with the citizens of Ferguson and support them in a time of terrible pain.

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I can't say this enough—a young man died violently and was left in the street for four hours.

We should all be throwing our hands up.

This is not the world we want to be raising our children in. We need to make our country a better and safer place for all people to live. Americans love football, and if the Rams throwing their hands up sparked even a few open honest conversation about race, then I think it was a winning play and fans of the NFL should support them all the way.

Image via Getty Images

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