ST. LOUIS (CBS/AP) — Kenny Britt, Jared Cook and a group of St. Louis Rams pass-catchers made a statement before the game started against the Oakland Raiders Sunday. Then their teammates joined in for an entirely different kind of statement on the field.
Five Rams players came out of the tunnel with their hands up in a demonstration related to the unrest in the St. Louis area after a grand jury decided not to indict a police officer who fatally shot an unarmed teenager in the suburb of Ferguson.
In some ways, the silent gesture was louder than the team’s dominant 52-0 victory against the Raiders.
“Everything about the situation touched me because it could have happened to any of us. Any of us are not far from the age of Michael Brown and it happened in our community,” said Cook, referring to the teenager who was killed in August. “We are part of this community. We are people of this community, so everything about it just touched me.
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“I wouldn’t want to be in any one of those guys’ situations that it happened to.”
A peaceful protest was held outside the Edward Jones Dome with the Rams (5-7) already firmly in control of the game. Rookie Tre Mason ran for 117 yards and two touchdowns — including an 89-yarder that made it 28-0 less than 19 minutes into the game — and added 47 yards receiving and another score on a 35-yard screen pass.
He and Britt also did the hands-up gesture — a reference to the claim by some witnesses that Brown might have had his hands up when he was shot — after his touchdowns.
“I don’t want the people in the community to feel like we turned a blind eye to it,” said Britt, identified by teammates as the orchestrator of the demonstration. “Let them know that we’re going to sit here and we’re going to support them.
“What would I like to see happen? “Change in America.”
Stedman Bailey, one of four receivers who took part in the pregame demonstration along with tight end Cook, had a career-high 100 yards receiving. Shaun Hill threw for two touchdowns and ran for another, his first rushing TD since the 2008 season finale with San Francisco.
Trumaine Johnson had two interceptions, returning the second one 43 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
The Raiders committed five turnovers — including two interceptions by Derek Carr and an interception and fumble by Matt Schaub, who replaced him in the fourth quarter. But most of the damage was done before then, with Oakland going three-and-out on its first three drives, and St. Louis capitalizing for touchdowns each time.
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