Kneel down for something
This is exactly what Jerry Jones said about players kneeling for the national anthem, per ESPN.com:
“If there’s anything that is disrespectful to the flag, then we will not play. Understand? We will not… If we are disrespecting the flag, we will not play. Period.”
The question begging to be answered is how far Jones is willing to carry this bluff. It is a bluff, obviously. Do you really think Jerry Jones is going let principle get in the way of winning a football game? Because I would donate a $1,000 to Dak Prescott’s favorite charity if he takes a knee next week. Owners like Jones can blow as much smoke as they want, but without players, the billions of dollars he has invested would be gone as totally as his original face.
DeMaurice Smith, the executive director of the NFL Players’ Association, was measured but pointed in his response to Jones. He simply stated that the Roger Goodell had assured the union that players would be allowed to express themselves without fear of retribution. In other words, Mr. Jones, go ahead and try.
Certainly, there’s nothing stopping the Cowboys from playing who they want to play. They can certainly decide that defensive ends Damontre Moore and David Irving, who raised their fists during the anthem this week, will sit next week against the 49ers. As long as the players get paid, their rights are not being infringed. They can probably beat San Francisco without those two. But maybe they can’t. Maybe a couple of linemen get hurt during the game. Does Jones stand by his statement and let his team fall to 2-4, or does he cave and go for the win?
Either way, Jones is basically daring his entire roster to take a knee. Two linemen don’t have a lot of leverage, but eight linemen certainly do. A quarterback has a bunch of leverage. If nothing else, these players are all members of a union, and if union members stand by and let management make threats against their brothers without taking action, the union is worthless. That doesn’t even factor in the racial aspect of this. If Jones carries out this threat, he would end up benching half his team.
My guess is that Jones will find some weaselly way to say that Irving and Moore weren’t violating his edict, and both will play this week. Too bad. I would love to see this come to a confrontation.
Meanwhile, there are currently 17 starting quarterbacks in the NFL with passer rating worse than the 90.7 that Colin Kaepernick posted last season. Nothing strange about that, is there?