Several years ago, Colin Kaepernick put his NFL career on the line when he decided to protest police brutality during the national anthem. By taking a knee during The Star-Spangled Banner, Kaepernick (a former quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers) sent shockwaves throughout America, forcing NFL fans to think about the horrors of racial inequality and police brutality while trying to enjoy a game of football.
For years, NFL teams refused to hire Kaepernick because of the controversy surrounding him, despite his skills as a quarterback. However, in the wake of George Floyd’s murder last year, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell had changed his tune and is now expressing his regret that he didn’t listen to Colin Kaepernick’s protests when they began all those years ago.
“I wish we had listened earlier, Kaep, to what you were kneeling about and what you were trying to bring attention to,” Goodell told former NFL player Emmanuel Acho during his Sunday appearance on Acho’s YouTube series “Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man.”
“What our players are doing is being mischaracterized,” Goodell added. “What they were trying to do is exercise their right to bring attention to something that needs to get fixed. That misrepresentation of who they were and what they were doing was the thing that really gnawed at me.”
Most NFL teams are working with Goodell to make the game more inclusive and supportive of all Americans. However, the Dallas Cowboys are struggling to deal with the issue. While the team’s owner, Jerry Jones, has striven to reach a compromise regarding the protests and standing during the national anthem, his son does not want to let Kaepernick win.
Stephen Jones, Dallas Cowboys Executive Vice President, and Chief Operating Officer has made it clear that he does not want to join his father or even Goodell in supporting Colin Kaepernick.
On Thursday, Stephen Jones made it clear that he did not support Goodell’s change of heart and that he was standing firm behind his conservative values.
“I’m not going to comment on that at this point. Obviously, everybody, I have respect for what everybody has to say about any of these situations. Everybody has their own way of getting their hands around it. It’s obviously a big challenge. As I said, every organization, every office, every place looks at it a little differently, including whether you’re the NFL or you’re an individual club. Everybody has their views on different things. So, certainly, have respect for everybody’s opinions and views, but probably as far as I’d go with that.”
Over the next few weeks and months, the Cowboys are going to face an uphill battle. As the rest of the country moves forward with the Black Lives Matter movement, Jones and his father will need to come to terms with the changing tide of American football or miss an opportunity of a lifetime.
What do you think about the Dallas Cowboys’ stance on the issue? Do you agree with Stephen Jones or Jerry Jones? What would be your solution for making football more inclusive?