Are Other NFL Owners Waiting On Jerry Regarding Social Injustice Talk?
FRISCO - I have detailed in this space why I believe Jerry Jones has every reason to take his time on the way to saying and doing the right thing in terms of social injustice. ... and that I believe the Dallas Cowboys owner will eventually realize he wishes "to be on the right side of history.''
That said ... he's really taking his time.
Most sports organizations have come out with videos, statements and financial pledges to the cause. Some in the NFL are, however, waiting. For what?
Indications are they are waiting for Jerry.
The Cowboys, of course, produced a video, but it was player-centric. There is also a Cowboys-related $1 million donation to the fight against social injustice, but that comes from QB Dak Prescott.
There are owners who are "old guard'' who see Jerry as the league's No. 1 powerbroker, and there are owners who are "young turks'' who see Jerry as the same way. For the former group? The Cowboys owner was pivotal in making them billionaires. For the latter? Jerry championed many of them into the league.
So, there is some inaction. Awaiting Jerry Jones' action.
There are in play forces that include "patriotism,'' "finance,'' "marketing,'' "optics,'' and yes, who one supports for the presidency of the United States. Every American has the right to consider all of those things as we plot our personal course. But ultimately, the civil rights movement - this one, as well as the one that forged change in the late '60's, requires us to choose. ... to choose a side of history.
At the risk of oversimplification, if it's 1968, and you are choosing to not allow black kids to drink from the same water fountains as white kids, you are choosing the wrong side of history.
Having said that: Is there any justification for anyone - white or black, sports or non-sports, to hesitate to speak out? Beyond the financial implications that can come with "taking a stand,'' I argue there is also the concern about being misunderstood, about being judged poorly for saying too much, or for saying too little.
Don't believe me? Check out the conflicting reactions to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell's recent "Black Lives Matter'' speech from two prominent NFL veterans.
Said Larry Fitzgerald, the future Hall-of-Famer in Arizona: “It was big for the commissioner to come out and say what he said ... and how they wish they could have done a better job. That's not an easy thing to do. So I commend commissioner Goodell for that and also the open dialogue with players that he's had and really checking the pulse of the players.”
Said Michael Bennett, the free agent who played last year in Dallas: "(Goodell) saying that 'Black Lives Matter' is almost like a slap in the face.''
Same exact comment. One powerful response is a commendation. The other a condemnation.
Yes, we have reason to measure our words before we speak them. But Jerry Jones, at least as much as any of us, given his unique authority to move mountains, has reason to speak those words ... eventually.