From: msn.com, by Steve DelVecchio, on Oct 22, 2017
NFL executives and owners met with players on Tuesday to discuss the issues surrounding national anthem protests, and most of the reports we have heard about the dialogue were positive. However, Jerry Jones has apparently not softened his stance on the subject.
According to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, Jones was “quite vocal” in expressing his opposition to anthem protests during the meeting. In fact, he was the only owner who went against a lot of the things the players were saying about the demonstrations.
Jones was the only owner to rail against the handful of players who are still regularly kneeling, standing or staying in the locker room during the playing of the anthem, the sources said, pronouncing his disagreement with how the NFL is policing the matter before all 32 teams. On Tuesday, when a select group of owners and league officials met with players and NFLPA leadership, there were no dissenting voices or debate about how the ongoing protests were being handled. But that changed on the second day of the meetings, with Jones expressing his feelings several times in what sources describe as a “firm and forceful” manner, but restrained and not over the top.
More specifically, Jones expressed a desire to have the NFL’s game-day manual changed to outline potential punishments for players who do not stand during “The Star-Spangled Banner.” There were reportedly no other owners who supported his stance.
Most of what we have heard about the meeting indicates the discussions were positive, so it doesn’t sound like Jones created any kind of divide or created a tense environment. Given the public stance he has taken against anthem protests, it is no surprise Jones was the lone voice of opposition.
One thing that must be said about Jerry Jones (owner of the Dallas Cowboys) is that he’s got cojones. Jerry made headlines recently when he became the first NFL owner to declare that he would bench players who are “disrespectful to the flag” during the anthem.
You may have noticed that the article states that he “was the only owner who went against a lot of the things the players were saying about the demonstrations.” I’ve got to tip my hat to Jerry, he was apparently the only owner present at the meeting who didn’t kowtow to the spoiled millionaire players. I’ve had my beefs about Jerry’s decisions before, but I’ve always recognized him as an astute businessman and one who didn’t take any crap from anybody and apparently, he remains that way.
Is he the only owner who can see what these “anthem” protests are doing to drive fans away? Being aware of the scheduled meeting, I thought that there would be more unity among the owners who are being directly impacted by fan’s displeasure – I guess I was wrong.
Based on Roger Goodell saying that “We care deeply about our players and respect their opinions and concerns about critical social issues. The controversy over the anthem is a barrier to having honest conversations and making real progress on the underlying issues. We need to move past this controversy, and we want to do that together with our players.” If that isn’t a cop-out to the players, I don’t know what is.
I’ve been a lifelong fan of the NFL and since I live in Dallas, the Cowboys have been my favored team. Last year after Kaepernick pulled his stunt, I opted not to watch any NFL games except Cowboy games and I held to that stance through the season. This year, after the team knelt before the anthem and stood with locked arms during the anthem, I cut the Cowboys from my view as well. Now, like millions of other fans, I’ve found other things to do on Sunday (Thursday and Monday nights as well) and while I’m undergoing some withdrawal pain, I’ve stayed true to my word.
Unless Jerry Jones can influence other owners to dump Goodell and implement a “no protest” policy during the NFL games, I’ll stay gone and hopefully, watch the league wither and die.