LANDOVER, Md. (CBSDC) — Several Redskins players exited the giant inflatable helmet with their hands up. The statement they wanted to make was obvious.
With unrest continuing in Ferguson, Missouri following the shooting death of teenager Michael Brown on Aug. 9., several of Washington’s defensive players, led by safety Brandon Meriweather, entered the field before Monday’s game against the Cleveland Browns at FedEx Field at a slow walk with their hands up.
That has become a defining symbol of the protest movement that has arisen in the wake of Brown’s death following a shooting by a Ferguson police officer. But Redskins players want to let that action speak for itself. Few had much to add to the gesture before Wednesday’s practice at Redskins Park.
“It was what it was. We did it. It’s over. Today’s about football,” safety Ryan Clark said. “That was about that day and that was about making a statement. I think we did that. It stirred up some conversation, whether good or bad, negative or positive. Now it’s time to just play football and focus on the Baltimore Ravens.”
According to rookie cornerback Bashaud Breeland, Meriweather approached his teammates with the idea. Meriweather, Clark, Breeland, corner DeAngelo Hall, corner Richard Crawford, safeties Bacarri Rambo, Trenton Robinson and Phillip Thomas and linebacker Adrian Robinson, among others, trotted onto the field with their hands in the air.
Some witnesses claim Brown was shot by officer Darren Wilson while trying to surrender, though the details surrounding the shooting remain mired in mystery amidst conflicting accounts.
“We just talked about it. We came together as a group,” Hall said. “It was something we wanted to do, and we did it.”
Follow Redskins reporter Brian McNally on Twitter.