Browns refuse apology to Cleveland cops over Andrew Hawkins' actions

Browns wideout Andrew Hawkins prior to his game vs. the Bengals.
Browns wideout Andrew Hawkins wore this shirt during introductions. (Getty Images)

The Cleveland Police Patrolman Union (CPPU) isn't happy with Browns wide receiver Andrew Hawkins after Hawkins decided to wear a shirt during player introductions on Sunday that said, "Justice for Tamir Rice - John Crawford." 

In a statement to Cleveland WEWS-Channel 5, CPPU president Jeff Follmer demanded an apolgy from the Browns. Follmer also called Hawkins' actions pathetic.

"It's pretty pathetic when athletes think they know the law," Follmer said. "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."

Hawkins was supporting the cause of Rice and Crawford, who were both recently killed by police in Ohio. Rice, 12, was shot on Nov. 22 in Cleveland after an officer saw him holding a toy gun near a park. Rice's death has been ruled a homicide.

Crawford, 22, was shot on Aug. 5 near Dayton after a 911 caller reported that he Crawford was holding a rifle inside of a Wal-Mart. Crawford actually had an air gun that he had removed from a shelf at the store. 

Follmer said that Hawkins doesn't know the facts.

"He's an athlete. He's someone with no facts of the case whatsoever," Follmer said. "He's disrespecting the police on a job that we had to do and make a split-second decision."

The Browns released a statement on Sunday night saying that they "respect" the Cleveland Police Department, but the team didn't offer an apology for Hawkins' actions. 

"We have great respect for the Cleveland Police Department and the work that they do to protect and serve our city," the Browns said in a statement, via Cleveland.com. "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."

The Browns are the second NFL team in three weeks to draw the ire of their local police department. The St. Louis Police Officers Association demanded an apology from the Rams after several St. Louis player came out using the "Hands Up" gesture to support Ferguson protesters in Week 13. 

At one point, the police officers' association released a statement saying the Rams had apologized, which led to a statement from the Rams saying they hadn't apologized. That led to the tweet below where the St. Louis police department's Twitter explained the definition of apology. 

CBS Sports Writer

John Breech has been at CBS Sports since July 2011 and currently spends most of his time writing about the NFL. He's believed to be one of only three people in the world who thinks that Andy Dalton will... Full Bio

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