Kneeling alongside the Dallas Cowboys before the Monday Night Football game was never about the “equality,” that team owner Jerry Jones said the gesture represented. Instead, it was about the billionaire protecting his bottom line: the NFL revenue stream that keeps him part of the elite “one percent.”
Oh, and it was also about the president, whose tweets and overall criticism of NFL players protesting police brutality and social injustice are likely just as responsible for the dip in attendance this season as much as the protests are.
In the process, Jones’ kneeling all but bastardized the true meaning of what the protest started by Colin Kaepernick last season truly represents.
Jones may hate to lose games, but the billionaire probably hates to lose money even more. When Trump challenged NFL owners to fire players who protested, Jones likely had no other choice but to offer a gesture of unity with his players in order to placate lost fans who may be swayed to spend their money on the NFL and help further line the owner’s pockets.
At the same time, Jones was thumbing his nose to Trump, whose campaign and inauguration was partly bankrolled by the Texas magnate to the tune of more than $1 million. By Jones taking a knee, he simultaneously made a play to safeguard his future NFL earnings and unite his team’s locker room, all while subliminally threatening to withhold his support – monetary and otherwise – of the president’s re-election efforts for 2020.
Because, after all, if Jones was truly sincere about the plight for Black people to achieve social justice in America, why wouldn’t he at the very least have taken a knee for the first game of the season, let alone last season?