A St. Louis sports bar disavowed the Rams after five football players thrust their hands in the air in solidarity with protesters outraged over the shooting death of Michael Brown.
In a post on its Facebook page on Monday, Time Out Sports Bar & Grill, a beer and burger joint in the city’s Tower Grove South neighborhood, said it would strip its walls and happy hour signs of all St. Louis Rams memorabilia. It also urged customers to “stand up to thugs who destroy our community,” a reference to the violent protests that followed a grand jury’s decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson with a crime related to shooting Brown, an unarmed black teenager, dead this past August.
In a later post, the bar announced its new allegiance to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Under fire from some commenters, Time Out later posted a third update defending freedom of speech. It claimed it was not taking sides in the Ferguson debate, but disagreed with "bringing the protest to a nationwide professional sporting event."
Fives Rams players on Sunday made the gesture associated with the protest chant “hands up, don’t shoot” -- a reference to what some believe Brown said before he was fatally shot during an altercation with Wilson, who resigned last week.
The bar's initial post inspired a flurry of comments -- some in support of the move, others calling for a boycott in response to the change. On Yelp, reviews of a similar tone poured in from users in St. Louis and other cities.
Time Out did not respond to repeated calls from The Huffington Post requesting comment.