A few years ago, the long standing labor contract between the NFL players and owners was going to expire at the end of the season. To make a statement to the owners that the players were united, both of the team's captains involved in the Thursday Night opening game of the season ran out to midfield for the opening coin toss with their hands clasped together. It was a powerful and effective message that the players were not to be take lightly by the owners at the end of the season, and one that has stuck with me for several years after it happened. Just this past week, 5 players of the St. Louis Rams, the team most directly affected by the chaos of Ferguson, came out and made a strong statement on the issue. To begin the game, they came out with their hands up, showing support for the community and the protests occurring all throughout the country. This was a bold move by these players, as it was inevitably going to be met with controversy. The St. Louis Police Department has since come out and criticized the Rams organization for allowing this to happen, and has honestly handled the response to this statement very poorly. Very quickly after the incident they tweeted at the Rams saying Police have 1st Amendment Rights too. They proceeded to call for discipline to come down on these 5 players. To me, this sounds like something an angry child would say to their friends after they lost in a video game. To say those things in that order seems very unprofessional to me, and the fact that the Rams came out afterwards and apologized on behalf of the organization does not help the situation. The situation has continued to develop, with several racist bars saying they will not show any more Rams games from here on out because of the incident. While this situation is still in its infancy, if the NFL came out and suspended these players, even for just a game, the response from the players would be tremendous and deafening. After all, if the police has 1st Amendment rights then don't the players have them too? To suspend these players would be to deny them these 1st Amendment privileges. I can only hope that the NFL continues on the path that it is currently on and doesn't say anything. The protests occurring in Ferguson and around the country are big enough as is, and suspending these players would only add fuel to the fire. That said, I commend these five players for having the courage to come out against the St. Louis Police Department and for the protestors. I hope the situation dies down, and hopefully the racist bars that are banning all future Rams games will soon change their policy as they begin to lose money. Only time will tell.