While Trump Praises Roger Goodell For Discouraging Anthem Protests, But Here’s What Happened To Jerry Jones
Donald Trump has praised Cowboys owner, Jerry Jones, for threatening to bench, or fire, any ‘son of a b*tch’ who protests during the national anthem. Now that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has stated, in an internal memo, that he wants players to stand during the anthem as well, Trump came out Tuesday morning with a backhanded compliment, via Twitter, in favor of Goodell’s sentiments.
“It is about time that Roger Goodell of the NFL is finally demanding that all players STAND for our great National Anthem–RESPECT OUR COUNTRY,” Trump wrote.
It is about time that Roger Goodell of the NFL is finally demanding that all players STAND for our great National Anthem-RESPECT OUR COUNTRY
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 11, 2017
Trump’s tweet, Goodell said, is actually misleading. The Commissioner didn’t make any demands on the players, as he likely realizes that he can’t.
But following Trump’s lead on this issue has a local labor union calling foul and has gotten Jones in some hot water. Even if the protests were about the flag, the anthem, or the military, the Local 100 of the United Labor Unions says that Jones cannot bully the team members into compliance–it is against federal law. He has effectively violated the National Labor Relations Act and the Local 100 has filed a formal complaint against him.
“There Is A Law Here”
Wade Rathke made the official filing on Tuesday at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) office in Fort Worth, Texas. He said that standing for the anthem was not a pre-existing condition of employment in the NFL. The NFL game operations manual says that players “should” stand for the anthem. It is not required and Jones cannot force his players to do so.
“Either way it’s a threat and you can’t threaten someone’s job for concerted activity. The point is he is threatening anybody and everybody,” Rathke told the Star-Telegram. “We are trying to send Mr. Jones a message that there is a law here. The law here is that you have the ability to act with your co-worker. You can’t just roll over someone’s rights when they are a worker. You can’t bully workers on the job. President Trump might not get that. Jones might be confused. But these are workers with rights with the National Labor Relations Board.”
The Price Of Freedom
In spite of what Trump, Jones, fans, and other team owners might want, they will be hard-pressed to enforce their insensitive, unconstitutional preferences based on the way the NFL policy is currently set up. Even if the league votes to change the policy at the upcoming owners meeting to mandate standing for the anthem, it would likely be challenged on its constitutionality. In the meantime, those who continue to fight against for freedom of speech and expression in the NFL, may suffer a fate similar to Colin Kaepernick. Unfortunately, there is always a price for freedom -due to the ignorant, racially biased beliefs that still exist in the U.S.- and sadly, somebody will pay it.