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NAACP condemns Jerry Jones’ ‘tone-deaf’ comments on anthem protests

The NAACP condemned Jerry Jones’ comments regarding national anthem protests by NFL players, referring to the Dallas Cowboys owner’s rhetoric  on the issue as “tone-deaf.”

Further, the organization characterized Jones stating Cowboys players who choose to protest during the anthem would be benched as a violation of their constitutional rights.

“Jerry Jones’ comments are more than tone-deaf, more than misinformed and misguided – they are a public commitment by an NFL owner to violate his players’ Constitutional right to free speech – one of the principles on which our nation was founded,”  NAACP Senior Director of Corporate Affairs Tony Convington said, via The Dallas Morning News. “They are proof that athletes like Colin Kaepernick who have quietly and peacefully used their platform to protest violence against communities of color do so at their own peril.”

Jones was the first NFL owner to go on record to declare what amounts to a ban on anthem protests, although he has previously conveyed his stance on several occasions.

“If we are disrespecting the flag, then we won’t play,” Jones said Sunday. “Period. Period. We’re going to respect the flag.” Jones later defended and strongly reiterated his views on anthem protests and team policy towards them on both Monday and Tuesday.

NAACP interim President and CEO Derrick Johnson suggested that the actions of NFL players during the anthem is not about disrespecting the flag or other associated charges leveled at those who have knelt or engaged in other forms of protests.

“This is not an issue about our flag, this is an issue about police brutality, racism, and the ability of members of the NFL whose communities are disproportionately impacted by police misconduct to peacefully say enough,” NAACP interim President and CEO Derrick Johnson said. “This is not simply a Black issue due to the number of white people also killed by police, but we know historically that when justice occurs for African Americans, all other members of our society benefit as well.”

Jones’ polarizing comments on such an controversial issue not surprisingly inspired rebukes from those with opposing viewpoints on the anthem protest matter. Expect it to continue.