The Trump-supporting Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has mixed feelings about his players protesting during the national anthem. First, he knelt with his players before the playing of the national anthem. Then, he threatened to suspend any players who protest during the anthem.
The NAACP just reminded Jones that his players have the right to protest under the First Amendment. Trump claims that the issue is about disrespecting the flag and the country, but it’s evident that this is a race issue.
NAACP interim President and CEO Derrick Johnson responded to Jones in a statement:
“This is not an issue about our flag, this is an issue about police brutality, racism, and the ability of members of the NFL whose communities are disproportionately impacted by police misconduct to peacefully say enough.”
“This is not simply a Black issue due to the number of white people also killed by police, but we know historically that when justice occurs for African Americans, all other members of our society benefit as well.”
The issue of police brutality against African-Americans needs to be addressed by any means necessary as pointed out by Johnson.
NCAAP Senior Director of Corporate Affairs & former NFL player, Tony Covington, stated: “Jerry Jones’ comments are more than tone-deaf, more than misinformed and misguided – they are a public commitment by an NFL owner to violate his players’ Constitutional right to free speech – one of the principles on which our nation was founded.”
“They are proof that athletes like Colin Kaepernick who have quietly and peacefully used their platform to protest violence against communities of color do so at their own peril.”
The press release continued, “Following Vice President Pence’s decision to walk out of a game in which players chose not to stand during the national anthem – at President Trump’s insistence – the NAACP believes that the NFL has an obligation to take a strong stance on behalf of its athletes and their rights.”
“We have asked to meet with Commissioner Goodell in order to determine how he can best protect his players. We hope that he will work with us and the Players’ Association to forge this critical path forward.”
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