FRISCO - Gerald McCoy is a newcomer to the Dallas Cowboys, but after a decade of stardom in his NFL stops, he's also recognized as an instant team leader. And that's the role he's playing now in suggesting that Cowboys team owner Jerry Jones end his silence on the subject of civil rights.
"It would be great to hear a statement from the Cowboys, great to hear a statement from Jerry Jones in support of everything that’s going on,'' said McCoy on the eve of Friday's Juneteenth celebration, as June 19 marks the anniversary of the official ending of slavery in 1865. "Will that get me in trouble saying that? I don’t know, but the truth is it needs to be said. The problem is people are afraid to have the conversations.”
Many community leaders are calling for Juneteenth to be made an official national holiday, a movement that has gained momentum in recent weeks following the death of George Floyd and the subsequent protests across the United States and across the world. McCoy and teammate DeMarcus Lawrence worked in advance of Friday to publicize a Fort Worth-based 2.5-mile walk by Opal Lee, age 93, who has become a symbol of the Juneteenth movement.
While the Cowboys as an organization have released a video in support of the civil rights movement, Jones himself has remained silent.
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“You have the players, who have their own brand, but we’re all under the umbrella of the Dallas Cowboys McCoy said via ESPN. “The Dallas Cowboys are the most recognized franchise in the world. They can get behind it, whether it’s the players or just being in the movement, period, and showing their support.''
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has made a statement in support of Black Lives Matter. NFL coaches and players of all backgrounds have done the same. It's unlikely that McCoy will "get in trouble'' for his position, and it's becoming increasingly important to members of the Cowboys family that the "family's grandfather,'' Jerry Jones, state his.