Many people think all professional athletes are disconnected from the struggles of the black community, but this simply isn’t true. And this past sporting weekend, one player reminded us of this very fact and was attacked for merely asking for justice.

Andrew Hawkins of the Cleveland Browns dawned a black shirt during warm ups before their football game on Sunday that read, “Justice for Tamir Rice and John Crawford.”

Justice for Rice and CrawfordRice and Crawford were both brutally gunned down by police officers responding to calls there were black people being black in areas they were not suppose to do suck. I’m being sarcastic, but both were shot and killed without warning by responding police officers and it appears they will not be charged for their deaths.

Hawkins says he was raised to always respect law enforcement and officers doing the right thing will not be offended by his calls for justice.

However, Cleveland Police Union president Jeffery Follmer disagrees and said:

  • “It’s pretty pathetic when athletes think they know the law…”
  • “They (athletes) should stick to what they know best on the field. The Cleveland Police protect and serve the Browns stadium and the Browns organization owes us an apology.”
  • “It’s not a call for justice, they (police officers) were justified…”
  • “Cleveland police officers work with the Cleveland Browns hand-in-hand, and when he disrespects two of our police officers, he disrespects everybody else.”
  • “How about this? Listen to police officers commands, listen to what we tell you, and just stop…”
  • “I think that eliminates a lot of problems. I have kids too, they know how to respect the law. They know what to do when a police officer comes up to them.”
  • “I think the nation needs to realize that when we tell you to do something, do it, and if you’re wrong you’re wrong, and if you’re right, then the courts will figure it out.”

Here is Andrew Hawkins in response:

SOUND OFF: What do you think of Hawkins wearing the shirt? And the Police Union’s response?

PUBLIC NOTE: The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the view of the Urban Intellectuals, affiliates or partners.

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