St. Louis, MO, United States (4E Sports) – The St. Louis Rams distributed a total of 225 free tickets to three local high school football teams to their Saturday’s preseason game against the Green Bay Packers.
The team made the move amid the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, over the killing of teenager Michael Brown, who was unarmed when he was fatally shot by a police officer Aug. 9. The incident sparked a week of protests and turmoil in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson.
Rams’ manager of fan development and alumni relations Kyle Eversgerd offered 75 free tickets to McCluer High, McCluer North and McCluer South.
“In light of everything going on, it just kind of hit me,” Eversgerd said. “I can’t imagine, with all that stuff going on, how tough it must be to practice. We were able to get them away from it all.”
McCluer senior running back Henry Jones said the opportunity to attend an NFL game of any kind meant a lot to him.
“It was overwhelming to see the NFL live, for real,” Jones said. “You saw how fast they played and how they played together. I’ve been thinking about it ever since. I could actually see myself out there playing.”
McCluer coach Mario MacDonald said the Rams’ gesture gave his players a mental break from the tragedy.
“Our kids are focused on this season, but I worry about them out here, to be honest,” he said.
The Rams lost to the Packers, 21-7.