Rams Exec Insists There Was No 'Hands Up' Apology

Kevin Demoff says he said no such thing to Police Chief Jon Belmar
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 2, 2014 7:43 AM CST
Rams Exec Insists There Was No 'Hands Up' Apology
In this Sunday Nov. 30, 2014, file photo, St. Louis Rams players raise their arms in awareness of the events in Ferguson, Mo.   (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson, File)

It's a he said, he said kind of story: Last night, St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar let his staff know, via email, that a St. Louis Rams exec had called him to personally apologize for the five players who took to the field with their hands up on Sunday in a show of solidarity with protesters against the shooting of Michael Brown. Belmar's email describes his "very nice call" with Kevin Demoff, the team's vice president of football operations. Belmar wrote that Demoff wanted to "apologize to our department on behalf of the Rams." Except Demoff says he said no such thing. In a conversation with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch late last night, Demoff said he "expressed ... that I felt badly that our players' support of the community was taken as disrespectful to law enforcement" in the call.

He also attended an afternoon meeting at St. Louis city police headquarters, and "in none of these conversations did I apologize for our players' actions." Belmar wrote in his email that Demoff "clearly regretted" any behavior that acted as to minimize "the outstanding work that police officers and departments carry out each and every day." Demoff told the paper that in both conversations he expressed regret, but the regret surrounded "any offense their officers may have taken." The NFL isn't looking for the players—Tavon Austin, Stedman Bailey, Kenny Britt, Jared Cook, and Chris Givens—to apologize either. ESPN reports Rams coach Jeff Fisher yesterday announced they "were exercising their right to free speech. They will not be disciplined by the club nor will they be disciplined by the National Football League." (Meanwhile, a mystery persists in Ferguson: Who killed Deandre?)

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