Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has been a lightning rod for criticism ever since he bought the franchise. It is nothing new for him. So, when many lashed out in 2017 when he insisted his players stand for the national anthem, it was nothing new for him.
The recent criticism for not speaking out against racial inequality and social injustice? Again—nothing new. It is likely safe to assume he was expecting and ready to handle the criticism he received over his recent comments on national anthem protests this season. Watch the video below for more.
But what his critics fail to recognize is that he is a person with a valid opinion. While many may not agree with his stance on the national anthem protests, he is not wrong.
As the most powerful owner in the NFL, Jones has received criticism for remaining silent as the nation devolved into chaos over the summer. When he finally spoke at a training camp press conference, those same critics were not satisfied with his apparent willingness to listen or call for ‘grace.’
So, their disdain for how he wants to approach national anthem protests this year is not surprising:
It is not hard to see why people are critical. People want more from the powerful NFL owner, and on the face of his comments, he is not giving more. But he is. In 2017, Jones was adamantly against kneeling during the national anthem and left no room for discussion. This time, he has stated that he is, and so far, we have no reason not to believe him.
Many disagree with that in light of his recent comments. But all he said was, “we’ll be looking to see if we can implement” something similar to what the team did in 2017. See the video below.
That doesn’t sound like a hard rule that must be adhered. It just sounds like what he’d like to happen.
Before condemning him, it would be fair to give him a chance to listen to Dontari Poe and anyone else that wants to talk first. But it is also worth understanding where he is coming from:
He just wanted to “recognize what its symbol is to America.”
Protesters have insisted that kneeling is not a sign of disrespect to the country, the flag, or anyone that has fought to protect it. It is just an act meant to protest police brutality. That is their perception of the act, they are entitled to it, and they are not wrong. But while protesters are allowed to have their interpretation and perception, others are allowed to have a different one.
If Jerry Jones and people like him see standing during the national anthem as a way of showing respect to what it symbolizes, they are entitled to that opinion.
Feeling that way does not mean they are against social reform and justice or support police brutality. It just means they want to show respect to the national anthem, and they don’t like it when someone does something they perceive to mean otherwise.
Jerry Jones has said he wants to have ‘grace’ and has encouraged people to do the same. As strange as it may sound, he is right. Before he gets condemned for not doing enough to satisfy protesters, give him a chance to follow through. Give him a chance to listen to Dontari Poe . Give him a chance to see the right path on his own and choose to take it.
Because if we try to force him (and anyone else) to get on the path to change, they will never actually take it.
And nothing will change.