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The Rams invited 225 Ferguson-area high schoolers to a preseason game

Football players from 3 local high schools got free tickets to the Rams' Saturday exhibition against the Packers.

Sports Illustrated's Robert Klemko has done a nice job getting the NFL perspective on the protests and police violence following Michael Brown's death in Ferguson, Missouri. His conversation with St. Louis County native David Bass is well worth a read, and he followed up with this report from Rams camp, via Peter King.

The Rams offered 75 free tickets apiece to each of the three Ferguson-Florissant School District football teams whose football schedules and home lives have been jarred by the uproar and conflict in their neighborhoods:

"In light of everything going on it just kind of hit me," says Eversgerd, whose job includes outreach with local high schools. "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."

So as hundreds of protesters faced off with police on the now-infamous West Florissant Avenue on Saturday night in Ferguson, leaving a man critically wounded by gunfire just yards from the homes of area children, the boys from three local teams were at their first NFL game, watching Aaron Rodgers and Sam Bradford from the 400 level. Said McCluer coach Mario McDonald, "Our kids are focused on this season, but I worry about them out here, to be honest.

There is, perhaps, more that the Rams and sports people -- all people, really -- can do, but this is a worthwhile gesture for kids whose neighborhoods have become war zones on several consecutive nights. On a night when they were supposed to be competing and having fun, they got at least some of that experience in a much-deserved respite from a tense situation around their homes.