Jerry Jones has never had a problem sharing his opinion, so why is he quiet following George Floyd's death?
It's been almost two full weeks since the NFL released Roger Goodell's first statement responding to George Floyd's death, three paragraphs that weren't exactly worded.
It's been seven days since a video was released in which Goodell looked into a camera and explained that "black lives are important" and "we were wrong", a direct response to a video with 18 of the best-known black players in the world NFL where the league had to do more.
In between, we've seen a number of team owners put their names to the test, decipher systemic racism, and reveal actual steps they take or plan to take to solve the problem.
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The Tennessee Titans have a page on the team's website with resources like black Nashville area businesses, community organizations like the Urban League, and even movie and book recommendations to learn more about how to become anti-racist, along with a statement from the owner Amy Adams Strunk "Those who are exposed to racism must be heard and, above all, understood by those who have not previously listened."
The owner of Baltimore Ravens, Steve Bisciotti, and the owner of the New England Patriots, Robert Kraft, have pledged, among other things, money for grassroots organizations in their respective communities that work for justice, social and racist justice. Gayle Benson, who owns the New Orleans Saints of the NFL and the New Orleans Pelicans of the NBA, formed a coalition of athlete leaders that will actively support reforms at local and national levels.
But in the past few days, many who follow the league have asked themselves: Where's the owner of the Dallas Cowboys, Jerry Jones?
Jones has never had a problem sharing his opinion. He is known as the "shadow commissioner" because of his influence as the owner of the most valuable sports franchise in the world. As General Manager of the Cowboys, he speaks to the media after almost every game in Dallas, wins or loses and gives his unvarnished opinion about what has just happened. During the season he performs weekly on a local sports radio station. At league events like the scouting combine, Jones is never hard to find, his own bus with the ubiquitous Cowboys star is always nearby.
Since Floyd was killed in Minneapolis on May 25, the man who never seemed speechless has suddenly been silent.
And his silence tells us everything we need to know.
The weeks since Floyd's death and the growing wave of Americans ready to reckon with the country's racial past and present seem to be real for now. There is a feeling that we will finally see a real structural change, from the structure of the police stations and their tasks to the realization that the putrefaction is so widespread that it is considered a municipal health emergency.
In the sports world we saw athletes, coaches and teams who spoke beyond the words on paper. They have marched and worked to have slave lawyers' names removed from college buildings and admitted to their own calculations and mistakes to improve.
The owner of the Dallas Cowboys, Jerry Jones, has been silent since George Floyd's death on May 25, triggering national protests against racial inequality and racism in the United States. (Photo by Leslie Plaza Johnson / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Even NASCAR, who has exactly one black driver among his top racing drivers and has long been considered unfriendly to black Americans on the track, at the pits and in the stands, has largely banished the hateful Confederate flag from his tracks this week because of the Ask this one black driver, Bubba Wallace.
At the moment, 70 percent of the players on the list of cowboys are black, which corresponds to the overall NFL.
Dallas Pass Rusher DeMarcus Lawrence has spoken out on social media, pushing back those who think he has no right to talk about racism because he earns a certain amount of money as if zeros on a paycheck had ever protected African Americans from hatred while he has also retweeted other players who are telling their truth.
Dak Prescott pledged $ 1 million to improve police training and advocacy to combat systemic racism.
Dallas posted a well-produced 2-minute video entitled "Protest to Progress" on social media last week that uses the same line that the NFL has used in the past. It showed players, local police and citizens speaking and stressing that "we all" will be needed to bring about change.
Jones was not in the video.
So that we don't forget, Jones 2017 threatened cowboys with benches if they knelt during the anthem, although the NFL rules didn't prohibit it.
As Goodell encouraged players to protest peacefully, as he promised to join them, Texas head coach and de facto general manager Bill O'Brien said this week that he is "all for" players who kneel - one of many who apparently finally heard something The players have been saying all along that the gesture is not intended to belittle American military personnel or veterans - Jones is nowhere to be found.
Many of us have long believed that it is complicity when it comes to racism. At least some of those who report about the cowboys and have been with Jones for a long time say Jones is not racist.
If it is, there is no better time to speak than the present.
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