After a weekend riddled with activism within the NFL, the country was anxious to see if this was going to spill over into the big Monday night football game. The Cowboys, affectionately dubbed “America’s Team, went up against the Arizona Cardinals and it was expected that if Texas’ team made any kind of statement, it would be a patriotic one given how outspoken Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones has been about disrespectful anthem kneelers.
Unfortunately, that’s not how it went down when Jones locked arms with his players and ceremoniously dropped to his knee in solidarity with the protesters. Although it took place seconds before the anthem rather than during it, the timing is simply a small distinction without a difference since it still supports the cause. President Donald Trump took note and tried to warn the team what would happen, but they didn’t listen.
There are few teams and players left who don’t participate in this political movement. The Cowboys taking a knee was the final straw, proving that heroes for the patriotic cause are now nowhere to be found in the NFL. The same day that the former Army Ranger Steelers’ player caved to criticism and actually apologized for standing for the anthem while his team hid in the locker room, America’s team changed their tune too. Now, they’re going to suffer the consequences for it.
Jerry Jones is one of the most powerful team owners in the NFL with the wealthiest franchise in the league. He’s been vocal about showing respect for the flag having referred to the National Anthem as “sacred” in the past. So, it comes as quite a surprise that he protested with his team Monday night, in what can only be considered a slight improvement to the overall problem.
The entire crowd in the stadium erupted in roaring disproval of the sign of “unity” Jones showed with the team in support of protesters. The loud booing was the audible reaction that’s now being felt in much more tangible ways that should mean something to Jones and the Cowboys.
President Trump has warned that the NFL can’t suffer another devastating loss to their ratings to continue to be profitable and has now sealed their fate with this last straw Monday night. He blasted the Cowboys and their owner in a three-part message that was probably hard to hear but ended with some slightly good news after the onslaught of bad.
Trump took to Twitter Tuesday morning after the Monday night upset, saying, “ratings for NFL football are way down except before game starts when people tune in to see whether or not our country will be disrespected.” While the Cowboys have enjoyed a lesser blow to their ratings and merchandise sales for having gone against the grain with their patriotism, flipping and showing support for this message could cost them just as it has the other teams who kneel.
This could add up to be a big loss of more than just people boycotting by not watching if sponsors drop out and people stop buying Cowboys merchandise.
Trump fired off a second message right after his first warning about ratings, which said: “The booing at the NFL football game last night, when the entire Dallas team dropped to its knees, was loudest I have ever heard. Great anger.”
This response sound could soon translate to fewer seats being filled and other areas of profit if the volume of the boos is any indicator. However, Trump ended his Twitter rant on a slightly positive note, which still might not be enough to save the team from the fallout, but he was being nice.
“But while Dallas dropped to its knees as a team, they all stood up for our National Anthem. Big progress being made-we all love our country!”
Jones responded to the reactions and his surprising decision to take a knee with his team.
“The reason I’m particularly proud of this team and the coaches that coach them is because we all agreed that our players wanted to make a statement about unity and we wanted to make a statement about equality,” Jones said, KVUE reported.
“They were very much aware that that statement when made or attempted to be made in and a part of the recognition of our flag, can not only lead to criticism but also controversy.”
Even though the Cowboys carved out a special time to kneel before the anthem rather than during it, the majority of Americans don’t want protests a part of any of the games. According to a Breitbart report, most Americans agree with Trump’s stance on these protests, rather than thinking that he’s out of line, as the mainstream media would have people believe.
“The Remington Research Group has just conducted a public poll, which shows two things very clearly. First, the American people agree with Donald Trump when it comes to NFL anthem protests,” Breitbart reported. “Second, if the NFL doesn’t cease allowing their league to become a fashion show for narcissistic SJW-wannabe’s, college football will be the most popular sport in America within five years.”
It doesn’t matter when you kneel, it only matters that you kneel and the divisive statement you’re making rather than just leaving it out altogether. It’s time to sack the political statements in football and just play the game if the NFL is interested in saving their industry.