Apparently, professional athletes cannot have an opinion and if they do, they should not make their opinions known.
That is the argument from the President of the Police Union in Cleveland, Jeff Follmer, who denounced Browns’ wide receiver Andrew Hawkins for wearing a “Justice for Tamir Rice” shirt during warm-ups. Follmer called Hawkins “pathetic” for expressing his views.
“He’s an athlete. He’s someone with no facts of the case whatsoever,” Follmer said on Sunday. “He’s disrespecting the police on a job that we had to do and make a split-second decision.”
Follmer demanded an apology from Hawkins and the Browns organization, causing the Browns to issue a statement.
“We have great respect for the Cleveland Police Department and the work that they do to protect and serve our city,” the statement says. “We also respect our players’ rights to project their support and bring awareness to issues that are important to them if done so in a responsible manner.”
Tamir Rice, 12 years old, was gunned down by a Cleveland police officer while holding what turned out to be a toy gun. At the time of the killing, the police officer said that Tamir was asked numerous times to drop his weapon and when he did not, he was shot and killed. The police also said that Tamir was about 20 years old.
But there is a video and according to the video, the 12 year old is seen getting shot less than 3 seconds after a police car arrived on the scene.