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"It's pretty pathetic when athletes think they know the law. They should stick to what they know best on the field."

 Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Cleveland, OH -- The choice of a Cleveland Browns wide receiver to wear a shirt to Sunday's game that read, "Justice for Tamir Rice - John Crawford" has been met with backlash by the Cleveland Police Union.

Jeff Follmer, the president of the Police Patrolman Union in Cleveland is demanding an apology for Andrew Hawkins decision to practice free speech.

Follmer issued the following statement Sunday, after the game:

It's pretty pathetic when athletes think they know the law. They should stick to what they know best on the field. The Cleveland Police protect and serve the Browns stadium and the Browns organization owes us an apology.

This statement is not only an assault on free speech, but it's also an unapologetic kick in the face to those familiar with the murders of Tamir Rice and John Crawford.

The video of police killing John Crawford shows nothing short of a sneak attack assassination. Crawford was threatening no one, while holding a BB gun that he was going to buy in Walmart, when police rushed in, with no warning and picked him off, like a sniper.

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Equally disturbing is the reaction by Cleveland police officers to a 12-year-old boy with a toy air gun. The video released in the Tamir Rice shooting, showed absolutely no hesitation by incompetent Cleveland police officer Timothy Leohmann as he gunned down this innocent child.

To demand an apology from someone who's simply asking for justice, in either one of these two incidents, is sickening to say the least. Neither one of these innocent individuals deserved to be killed by police, and no one has answered for their deaths. Actual "justice" has yet to be served. Hawkins is providing a public service by wearing this shirt and deserves to be respected, not scorned.

The only apology that should be issued here, should be from the system that condones the killing of innocent people, and its supporters.

We'd like to commend the administration of the Cleveland Browns for standing by their players' right to free speech as well. The Browns released a statement Sunday saying:

"We have great respect for the Cleveland Police Department and the work that they do to protect and serve our city. 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."