Washington Redskins ran onto the pitch with their hands in the air last night in a show of solidarity with the people of Ferguson, who have been protesting against the death of Michael Brown.
Redskins players drew attention to the situation in Ferguson, where protests have been taking place every night since the teenager was shot by police officer, by emerging from the stadium tunnel with their arms in the air ahead of their match with Cleveland.
Witnesses say Brown, 18, was shot with his hands in the air in a position of surrender, while police claim officer Darren Wilson shot him during an altercation. The words 'hands up, don't shoot' have become an enduring symbol during demonstrations.
“We just want to show our supporters what’s going on in St. Louis,” Meriweather told CBS DC. “We just wanted to show support.”
Free safety Ryan Clark added: “That could have been any one of us. That could have been any one of our brothers, our cousins… When you get an opportunity to make a statement, and be more than a football player, it’s good.”
Hostilities between police and protesters briefly abated last night with smaller crowds, fewer confrontations and no tear gas used against crowds.
The slight easing of tensions came the day before Attorney General Eric Holder was due to visit Ferguson to meet with FBI and other officials carrying out an independent federal investigation into Brown's death.
A grand jury could also begin hearing evidence today to determine whether the officer, Darren Wilson, should be charged in Brown's death. The teenager's funeral will take place on Monday.