Just days away from the kick-off of the NFL’s 2017 preseason, with players competing in training camp as they vie for a spot on the final roster, Dallas Cowboys owner, Jerry Jones, has issued an unequivocal statement to his players.
If anyone expects to suit up in the silver and blue this season, standing during the singing of The Star Spangled Banner is expected.
Jones sees it as a measure of respect for the fans, as well the military and the USA.
Last season, San Francisco 49ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, suddenly “discovered” he felt discriminated against and persecuted as a black man, and decided to show his anger by taking a knee during the traditional playing of the anthem before games.
Kaepernick was released by the 49ers and is now a free agent with only weeks to go before the season begins.
That the QB, abandoned by his birth parents and raised by a white family who nurtured his athletic ability as a child and has played for the NFL for millions of dollars, sees himself as a victim went beyond laughable to many longtime NFL fans.
After a season that saw viewership of NFL games plummet, with Monday Night Football down 24% from the previous year, Sunday Night Football down 19% and Thursday night down 18%, Sports Illustrated surveyed football fans about their decision to turn off the sport they love.
One reader acknowledged that while Kaepernick had a right to express himself, “he (and the league, and the owners and coaches who support him) need to understand their disrespect of the flag, the country and the thousands who have died to give him the right to express himself is producing some serious consequences for them.”
Another responded, “Until Kap started showing his utter disrespect I was watching two to four NFL games per week. Now I watch none.”
Another summed it up concisely.
“For the previous 18 years, the face of the league was Peyton Manning. Now it is a guy who doesn’t stand for the national anthem.”
Jones’s Dallas Cowboys will face off against the Arizona Cardinals in Canton, Ohio, site of the National Football League Hall of Fame, on August 3.
The regular season begins on September 7.
Now let’s see who decides they want to show up on game day.
Do you agree with Dallas Cowboys owner, Jerry Jones, that NFL players should stand for the national anthem. It is a measure of respect for those who have died to protect our freedoms and our way of life?