A few weeks ago Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones made one thing clear: Whoever protest anthem on Cowboys team will be benched. He is of the opinion that the protests during the national anthem are damaging NFL reputation.
The protests started last year by Colin Kaepernick were accepted and further expanded by numerous NFL players. The reason stated is racial injustice and police brutality. While many are approving this sort of protest, there is a large number of fans that are condemning the behavior of football superstars. They defend their opinion by stating that their actions during the national anthem are disrespectful to military veterans. In addition to adverse talk about the league, the TV ratings are also down.
This might be connected to the protests thing. Jerry Jones at least thinks so: “There is no question the league is suffering negative effects from these protests.”
The Cowboys franchise is the most valuable in the world of sports at $5 billion. But, despite this, they are not immune to the matter of anthem kneeling that plagues the NFL. Jones said that Cowboys sponsors are more than concerned about the issue: “Our ability to be substantive is based on having a strong NFL, a league that people are really interested in and want to watch and want to watch the games. At all times, if I am anything, I am first and foremost a proponent of making the NFL strong. Making us have as many people watching the game as we can and watching in light of what we are doing and that’s playing football. If all this makes you stronger to represent messages, let’s don’t do it in a way that tears down the strength of the NFL.”
With anthem protests and Jerry Jones’s hard stance on it, the Cowboys also have had a bad start to the season. The weak form was interrupted by a win at Levi’s stadium against 49ers (40-10). In addition to the dominant victory, none of the Dallas Cowboys players kneeled during the anthem. The only player to direct some of the attention towards racial injustice was David Irving who raised his fist after the hymn was played.
Irving stated: “I wouldn’t want to disrespect the anthem; wait until it’s over. I’ve been asked that for the past three weeks, my statement is my statement. That was a statement, nothing really to say about it. If you are in a position I am in or everyone else in this locker room is, you have to watch what you say, play things as smart as you can. I’m not going to speak on this; certain things are better off left unsaid.”
Unlike Cowboys, some of San Francisco 49ers players kneeled, which was expected because the whole movement started here. The man who started it, Kaepernick, is a free agent with no teams willing to sign him. He believes that the reason is his anthem protests, and kneeling. While all this is still happening he filled grievance alleging that NFL owners are keeping him out of the league. Something tells me that this matter is far away from being solved. Stay tuned.