“The league is suffering negative effects from these protests” – When Jerry Jones threatened to fire Cowboys players for kneeling during the national anthem

Back in 2017, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones threatened to bench any player who knelt during the national anthem

Jerry Jones and the Cowboys kneeling during the national anthem
Jerry Jones and the Cowboys kneeling during the national anthem
FirstSportz News

There have been a plethora of controversies in the NFL. Some due to the actions of team owners and some due to players. We have seen a lot of sexual misconduct done by players and owners, and racial discrimination among other things. Back in 2017, the league witnessed one of its major controversies.

First initiated by former San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick in 2016, who knelt during the national anthem in protest of police brutality and racial discrimination soon spread like wildfire and many teams followed suit. Dallas Cowboys players also knelt during the national anthem during some games but stopped after a stern warning from owner Jerry Jones.

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Jerry Jones said that he received word from sponsors that players kneeling were damaging the team’s image

Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the national anthem
Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the national anthem

Players kneeling during the national anthem highlighted the racial injustice gripping the USA which created a huge controversy and people were divided into two groups because of it. While some believed that there was nothing wrong with kneeling, others thought that it disrespected the flag and the military personnel.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was not at all pleased with his players kneeling during the national anthem. Back in October 2017, Jones warned the players that he would bench any player who disrespects the flag. “There is no question the league is suffering negative effects from these protests,” Jones said on Sunday.

During this protest, the NFL’s television ratings also took a dip although it wasn’t clear if it was due to the protests or the overall TV sports audiences having fallen across America. Jerry Jones whose Cowboys is worth over $5 billion said that he received concerns from sponsors due to this growing protest in the league.

“Our ability to be substantive is based on having a strong NFL, a league that people are really interested in and want to watch and want to watch the games,” Jones said. “At all times, if I am anything, I am first and foremost a proponent of making the NFL strong. Making us have as many people watching the game as we can and watching in light of what we are doing and that’s playing football. If all this makes you stronger to represent messages, let’s don’t do it in a way that tears down the strength of the NFL.”

After seeing the backlash the league received due to layers kneeling, commissioner Roger Goodell changed the league policy and made it mandatory for players to stand during the national anthem. The policy added that player who refuse to stand  “may stay in the locker room or in a similar location off the field until after the Anthem has been performed.” Still, it was a pretty bad move from Jerry Jones to threaten players to fire them for showing their support for a major national issue.

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