It’s good to see, through all of the murkiness of disrespect being performed by NFL players under the guise of “protest,” there is every now and then a voice of reason.
Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys, one of the most valuable sports franchises in the country and known for decades as “America’s Team,” said last weekend that his players would stand for the National Anthem or they would not play for the Cowboys.
Naturally, Jones has taken plenty of criticism — including from the NFL Players Association and ESPN reporter Jemelle Hill, who urged fans to boycott Cowboys’ advertisers (she was subsequently suspended two weeks by ESPN … bravo!) — but even Commissoiner Roger Goodell is finally seeing the damage this uncivil kneeling is causing.
We applaud Jones and his stance. There’s no room or need for that kind of distraction this kind of “protest” is causing. And folks seem to forget that the boss of any company is the one who decides what kind of company rules there will be for his or her employees — within legal limits, of course.
That’s nothing new in professional sports. For decades the New York Yankees have fostered a clean-cut image among its players at the major-league level. No beards. No long hair. Period. Whether it’s a written or unwritten rule, players have adhered to it if they wanted to put on the pinstripes.
Jones’ rule for his players to stand during the National Anthem is his rule. He signs the checks. Just do it. He’s not stopping them from being part of an organized protest off the field. But on the field, everyone stands. Good for him.
There needs to be more owners like Jones who are willing to stand up for what is logical, respectful and just plain right — rather than those who are allowing the paid employees to run the show.
We will repeat what we have thought all along — that this “protest” is sending bad messages to youth who are mimicking their sports heroes (like the lone Fairmont football player who knelt Friday at Lenon Fisher Stadium); the actual message of the “protest” is lost on most fans; and the actions of these “protesting” players has managed to accomplish little or nothing positive since Colin Kaepernick first knelt so everyone could see his humongous afro on camera.
Anyone who likes to claim professional athletes, college athletes and high-school athletes have the constitutional right to protest are correct. But only where that protest is allowed. And if an owner or college president or public school superintendent says there will be no protests on the field of play, then that’s the final word.
If these professional athletes truly want to make a difference, then they should stop pandering to the cameras, park their egos and form regional panels to hold discussions with public, political, law enforcement and faith-based groups to find solutions. That would be a positive step.
Right now, their method and message has been negative.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“Do something today that your future self will thank you for.” (Unknown)