Prior to Sunday’s 30-0 loss at Cincinnati, Browns WR Andrew Hawkins (above) donned a t-shirt that specifically referenced the death of 12 year-old Tamir Rice, gunned down last month by Cleveland police officer Timothy Loehmann. The Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Adam Ferrise reports Cleveland police union president Jeff Folmer found Hawkins’ gesture, “disrespectful”.
“He’s an athlete. He’s someone with no facts of the case whatsoever,” Follmer said. “He’s disrespecting the police on a job that we had to do and make a split-second decision.”
The Browns in a statement said they respect Cleveland police and their players right to support certain causes.
“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.”
Follmer said many Cleveland police officers work security for the Browns games and are employed by Browns.
“He should stick to playing football and let us worry about law enforcement,” Follmer said. “The players don’t know what our job entails. Don’t judge us by what you’re reading in the media.”
If you’re keeping score, the persons in charge of worrying about law enforcement saw the following occur on their watch ; they hired Loehmann and gave him a firearm despite his being deemed “distracted”, “weepy” and not “mentally prepared” to handle a gun by a neighboring city’s police force. After Loehmann responded to a dispatcher’s report of Rice wielding a pistol (that turned out to be an air gun), the latter was shot on sight. Rice’s death has since been deemed a homicide — but perhaps Follmer would prefer the county medical examiner stick to football as well.