The debate on whether the St. Louis Rams have officially apologized for five players doing the “hands up, don’t shoot” gesture before Sunday's game has become a full-blown feud between the police and the team.
The St. Louis County police want an “I’m sorry” from the Rams brass after players Kenny Britt, Tavon Austin, Stedman Bailey, Jared Cook and Chris Givens participated in the controversial demonstration before the home game against Oakland.
The St. Louis Police Officers Assn. blasted the players, calling their actions “tasteless, offensive, and inflammatory,” and asked for an apology from the Rams and the NFL.
It seems Chief Jon Belmar was contacted Monday by St. Louis Rams Chief Operating Officer Kevin Demoff, and though Demoff expressed regret for the players' actions, according to Belmar, he did not specifically say, “I’m sorry,” or “We’re sorry.”
On Monday night, St. Louis police tweeted on the department's account: "Apology: 'expression of regret for not being able to do something' @kdemoff: 'I regretted any offense their officers may have taken'."
Police then posted a statement regarding the feud on Facebook after "Monday Night Football" wrapped up.
That new statement read:
“Chief Belmar was contacted today by St. Louis Rams COO Kevin Demoff. The chief never asked for anyone from the Rams to contact him. He said the conversation was pleasant. The chief sent an email to his police staff and used the word ‘apologized.’ Mr. Demoff is quoted in the St. Louis Post Dispatch story as saying, ‘I expressed to both of them that I felt badly that our players' support of the community was taken as disrespectful to law enforcement.’ He further stated, 'I regretted any offense the officers may have taken.'
Even though Mr. Demoff stated he never apologized, the chief believed it to be an apology and the chief sent the email to police staff to let them know about the call, after he told Mr. Demoff he would share his sentiments with his staff.”
The NFL already weighed in and said it will not fine the players who did the gesture.