The NFL has said it will not discipline the five St Louis Rams players who made a "hands up, don't shoot" gesture in solidarity with Michael Brown, the unarmed black teenager who was shot dead by a police officer in August.
Following the stunt in the Rams' game with Oakland Raiders on Sunday, the St Louis Police Officers Association (SLPOA) called the gesture "tasteless, offensive and inflammatory".
They added that the players' gesture "has become synonymous with assertions that Michael Brown was innocent of any wrongdoing and attempting to surrender peacefully when [officer Darren] Wilson, according to some now-discredited witnesses, gunned him down in cold blood".
Their statement called for "the players involved to be disciplined and for the Rams and the NFL to deliver a very public apology".
There is some confusion as to whether the Rams have apologised directly to the SLPOA with reports initially suggesting club official Kevin Demoff had called the St Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar to say sorry - something Mr Demoff has since denied. The police department, however, still claim he did.
Whatever the situation, the NFL has made their view on the matter clear. In a statement last night, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said:
We respect and understand the concerns of all individuals who have expressed views on this tragic situation.
- Brian McCarthy, NFL spokesperson
One of the five players involved, Jared Cook, explained: "We kind of came collectively together and decided we wanted to do something."
We haven't been able to go down to Ferguson to do anything because we have been busy. Secondly, it's kind of dangerous down there and none of us want to get caught up in anything.
So we wanted to come out and show our respect to the protests and the people who have been doing a heck of a job around the world.
- Jared Cook, St Louis Rams