Wow! What were the St. Louis Rams players thinking? “Hands up. Don’t Shoot!” Oh yeah, that’s right – First Amendment and that thing the one player, Jared Cook, said, “There has to be a change that starts with the people that are most influential around the world.”

Well here are a few thoughts for Mr. Cook and those who think they are the most influential around the world. Cops did not give up their free speech rights when they put on the uniform to protect your freedoms. So sit back and let one retired cop exercise his 1st Amendment Right of speech.

Other than making a very handsome living as a football player, what have you done today,or yesterday or even this year, that has enabled the world to live more freely, with a greater vision for the future and hope for tomorrow? While you take your time to think of an answer, let me share a few examples of what my Brothers and Sisters in Blue have done.

In the last five, almost 6, years, over 790 law enforcement officers – local, state and federal – have DIED in the line of duty protecting your freedoms, property and lives. Countless times, every day, 24 hours a day, cops have talked suicidal people out of ending their lives. Cops have picked up a child and shielded them from the gruesome sight of a parent murdered by another parent.

Cops have gone to the home of parents wondering why their son or daughter has missed their curfew and had to deliver the horrific news their child was killed in a car crash. Cops have had to stand at the autopsy table while a Coroner cuts open the chest of an infant to find out the cause of death.

Cops have missed their kids first day of school because they are sitting in the hallway of the courthouse waiting to testify in a domestic violence case, only to find out the victim has dropped charges. Cops have missed family holiday dinners and sporting events because they are patrolling your neighborhood and keeping you and your family safe.

Cops are held to a higher standard of living – on duty and off – than any professional athlete ever will be. Cops are always striving to do the right thing, at the right time, in the right way and for the right reasons. All the while knowing some uninformed, agenda driven, grandstanding hater will be right there to grab the limelight and criticize.

So while you enjoy your millions and adulation of screaming fans when you happen to make a good catch during your 60 minutes of national attention, remember this: there are thousands of cops out there who are ready, willing and able to lay down their life for you in a split second, no questions asked.

Tell me again, how you are every day enabling the world to live more freely, with a greater vision for the future and hope for tomorrow? Care to join our team and really make a difference?

Pat Welsh, Best Selling Author, Speaker and Trainer, is a retired Major of the Dayton Police Department. A graduate of the FBINA and Police Executive Leadership College, Mr. Welsh specializes in law enforcement training, keynote speaking, expert witness and coaching services. Visit http://www.Warrior-Servant-Leader.com or contact Mr. Welsh at [email protected].