DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Speaking out on what they call a free speech issue, a group of local faith and community leaders along with social activists expressed their support for former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick and gave Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones a piece of their mind in light of the recent protests on the football field.
The group of mostly African American pastors and leaders said there is a need to reclaim the narrative in the discussion about the unfair treatment of minorities and the police-involved shootings of mostly black men in the United States.
They also accused Jones of infringing on player’s rights to freedom of speech by declaring that any Cowboy who kneeled during the National Anthem, something he deemed as disrespecting the flag, would not be allowed to play.
After saying that he felt “very strongly” that players shouldn’t protest during the National Anthem, Jones joined the team in taking a knee before the National Anthem was played when they faced off against the Arizona Cardinals last month. The Cowboys said the move was a show of unity and was not meant as a form of protest.
Critics continue to view the National Anthem kneeling as an affront against the country and the military. But today the leaders in Dallas focused on pushing back against Jones, and urging him to stand with them on this issue.
“Colin Kaepernick took a stand when he took that knee during the National Anthem, in essence saying “America be true to what you’re singing about,” said Friendship-West Baptist Church Senior Pastor Frederick Haynes. “Well, last week Jerry Jones, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys, decided it was time to revert to plantation politics.”
The strong words were directed at the Cowboys owner and essentially the NFL as a whole and most likely was timed as NFL owners prepare to go into meetings this week. The local leaders said at those meetings owners should form a collation from the NFL to create a month focused on the fight against injustice – perhaps in the same way the NFL has set aside a month to focus on the fight against breast cancer.