Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has no doubt been as vocal as an owner can be. His sometimes “out of the box” ideas have gotten him in trouble, but it is undeniable that this “wildcatter” from Arkansas has been wrong.
His recent silence has been a little concerning but being silent and learning instead of talking is something I think that every American could benefit from. I think that Jones is doing just that. I do not think that there is some sinister act behind closed doors and I think that Jerry is actually forming something bigger than everyone else.
This brings me to my question. Will Jerry Jones have a change of heart and allow his players to kneel? I have to be honest and tell everyone that I have changed my views slightly because of this new movement that is going on.
As a retired Army veteran, I stand for the flag because of the people I know and did not know who came home under the flag. I also understand why people kneel for the flag and it does not have to do anything with disrespect. The Army that I served in was and is different than the Army before me.
Black Soldiers were allowed to fight in the Civil War with hopes of uniting a country. Black Soldiers during the Vietnam War would come home to ungrateful citizens fighting the same fight from 100 years earlier. This is what I learned.
African Americans are not only protesting injustice but their action has made the world pay attention and it has nothing to do with the disrespect of the flag. This is where I think Jerry Jones will allow his players to voice their concerns.
I get the PR fallout that would happen if the NFL allowed for players to protest and Jones retaliated in some way but I think Jones and the rest on the United States now have a better understanding of what it feels like to be American but not feel welcomed.
I have heard multiple public figures tell athletes to just “shut up and play” which I admittedly initially thought the same. Then I thought, are minorities only Americans when the mood suits us? It is glamourous to be a minority athlete showing off their newfound fame and fortune until they talk about issues that the majority don’t feel comfortable addressing.
It has come to the point where this topic is unavoidable. If the NFL does not intervene, Jones is backed into a corner where he has no choice but to allow his players to kneel.
No matter how big of a contribution he gives or what programs he sets up, Jones will ultimately and unfairly be labeled as something he has no business being associated with if he does not align himself with what the entire NFL decides to address this.