The NAACP is setting Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones straight about the reason many of his players are kneeling during the national anthem, calling his threat to bench them unconstitutional, the Dallas Morning News reports.
This rebuke responds to Jones becoming the first NFL owner to announce a punishment for players who protest during the anthem. Since his declaration on Sunday, Jones stated that his intention is to remove his team from the controversial national debate about disrespecting the flag, adding that he sees it as “a workplace issue,” according to the newspaper.
“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,” he said.
Johnson added that this is not a Black and White issue because the police also kill Whites, “but we know historically that when justice occurs for African Americans, all other members of our society benefit as well.”
The NAACP’s Senior Director of Corporate Affairs Tony Covington called Jones “tone-deaf.” He said punishing players for their protest violates the constitutional right to free speech.
Jones is also receiving backlash from labor unions. ESPN reported that United Labor Unions Local 100 filed a complaint against Jones on Tuesday, accusing the billionaire of violating the National Labor Relations Act when he issued his threat.