Cleveland police demand apology from Browns over Andrew Hawkins’ shirt
The Cleveland Police Union issued a statement Sunday night demanding an apology from the Browns over the T-shirt worn by wide receiver Andrew Hawkins prior to his team’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Hawkins wore a shirt over his uniform as he came out for introductions that said “Justice for Tamir Rice and John Crawford.” The shirt had references to Rice and Crawford, who were both killed by police offers in Ohio recently.
Jeff Follmer, the president of the Cleveland Police Union, issued a statement in response.
“He’s an athlete. He’s someone with no facts of the case whatsoever,” Follmer said of Hawkins via Cleveland.com. “He’s disrespecting the police on a job that we had to do and make a split-second decision.”
“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.”
The Browns issued a statement supporting Hawkins and their players.
“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.”
This is very similar to what happened with the Rams and St. Louis police a few weeks ago when some Rams players showed support for Ferguson by also wearing T-shirts.