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Talon Marks

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Shmackem: ‘Jerry’s rule’ on NFL protesters is outrageous

Carlos Ruiz

I wish the old snow white Jerry Jones would try and suspend every Dallas Cowboy player that kneels in protest during the national anthem, he wouldn’t have any players to profit off of.

Sadly, we may not get to see what the outcome will be, because no Cowboys player has knelt during the anthem to date.

Photo credit: Creative Commons

Jones said on July 25, “Our policy is you stand during the anthem, toe on the line.” He’s owned the team since 1989 and said it’s always been that way, which is false because it only just become a topic of discussion in 2016.

The only exception to “Jerry’s rule” was on Sept. 25, 2017 when the team known as “America’s team,” including Jones, linked arms and knelt before the anthem in response to Donald Trump’s 2017 comments calling protesters who kneel during the anthem a “son of a bitch,” encouraging NFL team owners to “fire” them.

It should be noted that the team stood during the playing of the anthem.

The gesture by Jones looked fake as a four-dollar-bill, you could see it all over his face in plain sight that he felt awkward doing it, he was even pictured looking up as most looked down.

Photo credit: Creative Commons

Personally I’ve never liked him, because he acts as if he’s for the players like when he knelt with them, but yet he implements a non-negotiable team rule that strikes eerily to that of white slave plantation owner.

All he’s worried about is the money he believes he’ll lose out on.

Jones should give the players a choice, listen to their voices, but he’s a my way or the highway upper class snob.

What would Jones do if the Cowboys’ second-year African-American stars in running back Ezekiel Elliott and quarterback Dak Prescott were to kneel in protest or stay in the locker room during the national anthem?

He would either have to forfeit his silly rule or adhere to his own policy and suspend or cut his two best players.

Photo credit: Creative Commons

Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe from the sports talk show Skip and Shannon: Undisputed, discussed the exact aforementioned scenario on July 26.

Bayless begs the question, “Now what’s Jerry going to do? Fire them, I don’t think so.” While Sharpe interjected saying, “Oh bench them, because you’re talking about oh they’re not going to play.

Sharpe, a pro football Hall of Famer, wasn’t buying that Jones would bench his two best money makers, because every game is important in a league that plays only 16 games.

Jones has also made it clear that he will not tolerate players who stay in the locker room during the anthem.

Photo credit: Creative Commons

At the end of the day, the 75-year-old Jones is a billionaire and the owner of the team, but he’s useless on the field. He’s never even played a pro football down in his life.

The Cowboys’ players really hold the advantage because they are the ones who make money for that wrinkled ball sack replica. Fans don’t come to see Jones in his sky box at AT&T stadium, they come to see star players.

When asked if players will abide by the his father’s anthem guidelines or not Cowboys’ executive vice president Stephen Jones boldly stated, “If they want to be a Dallas Cowboy, yes.”

The NFL announced on May 23 that it will put a halt to the policy requiring players to either stand or stay in the locker room for the national anthem.

The freeze came after the NFL Players Association filed a grievance against the pro football league.

This rule was first implemented by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after ongoing discussions with team owners.

Former NFL player, 30-year-old Colin Kaepernick pioneered the statement in 2016 as a member of the San Francisco 49ers and has since been blackballed from the NFL.

Photo credit: Creative Commons

The peaceful form of protest has consistently received hateful backlash from Donald Trump, team owners, NFL fans and others, who clearly have a blatant disregard for the First Amendment right to freedom of speech, expression and to peaceably assemble.

Kaepernick originally sat during the anthem, then he started kneeling, his reasoning was “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” he said.

“…There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.” This was a direct response to the frequent high-profile killings of unarmed black people by police, who end up on paid leave.

Since Kap, more than 200 players have sat or kneeled during the anthem.

Trump tweeted another annoying tweet in response to “Jerry’s rule” on July 27 from his verified Twitter account saying, “Way to go Jerry. This is what the league should do!”

This tweet adds to the list of tweets about as unsettling as Trump’s Hollywood Walk of Fame Star currently is after being pleasantly dismantled with a pickaxe.

Doesn’t that clown have more important matters to worry about than to focus on the NFL and the anthem protests? Like I don’t know, returning kids from his internment camp, not getting the U.S. nuked by that “little rocket man” in North Korea, Vladimir Putin and Russian affairs, just to name a few.

To quote Kevin Durant, Trump doesn’t “want no smoke from nobody.” So he should keep his stubby little hands in his pockets and stay out of this.

This issue is bigger than Trump.

Photo credit: Creative Commons

The fact that insanely rich white team owners are deciding on a racially charged social issue is beyond me.

According to CNN, 30 NFL team owners are white, which is ridiculous in its on right, but seeing as they’ve obviously never lived a day as a black person is America, they think that the predominantly African-American players who are kneeling are disrespecting the flag, but they choose to negate the real facts.

Pro players are not protesting the flag or the anthem per say, they are protesting and condemning the racial injustices that people of color face on a daily basis.

We live in a “shut up and dribble” world where some people want athletes to just perform and not take on bigger responsibilities like racial and social matters.

Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James, who throughout his career has been outspoken when it comes to racial injustice, social and political issues, said “I’m all in favor of anyone, athlete or non-athlete being able to express what they believe in, in a peaceful manner.”

James also said of the protests that “it’s about equality.”

Athletes should continue to be a light and positive influence in important issues.

Photo credit: Creative Commons

Titans’ Jurrell Casey said before the upcoming season “I’m going to protest during the flag.” He also noted that he would “take a fine.”

These team owners need to get it through their heads that they are not SLAVE owners and should not dictate if a player can peacefully protest or not.

It’s constitutionally and morally wrong to restrict someone of their first amendment rights and if the NFL can’t compromise to the players on this issue then the players, understanding fans and sponsors should boycott the NFL.

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About the Contributors
Jah-Tosh Baruti, Staff Writer
Jah-Tosh Baruti is author of the sports column titled Shmackem. Previously he was sports editor for Talon Marks. Baruti also took home an award for his sports writing at the Journalism Association of Community Colleges’ state conference in 2018.
Carlos Ruiz, Managing Editor
Carlos Ruiz is the Managing Editor for Talon Marks. He admires photography, and even launched his own website and has dedicated his Instagram to his work. His dream job is always changing, but most recently, he would like to travel the world taking photos, or something having to do with photojournalism. He’s hopeful to continue working on a newspaper staff at the CSU he decides to attend.  
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Shmackem: ‘Jerry’s rule’ on NFL protesters is outrageous