In the lobby of the Manhattan hotel in which NFL executives met on Tuesday, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was given a cold welcome by two social justice activists, who accused the NFL of treating its players “like $40 million slaves.”
After leading his entire team to kneel before the anthem during #TakeTheKnee Sunday, Jones announced publicly that all of his players would stand for the anthem or else be benched, predictably resulting in backlash against the famous owner.
The Wall Street Journal reports that on Tuesday about “two dozen supporters of Black Lives Matter New York” held a rally outside the hotel in order to express solidarity with Colin Kaepernick and the national anthem protesters. Two activists, identified as Carl Dix and Linda Solitaire of RefuseFascism.org, were waiting in the lobby to greet Jones and company.
Deadspin’s Lindsey Adler posted a video of the uncomfortable encounter online:
“You want to treat them like $40 million slaves — gladiators who are well paid to beat each other’s brains out, but have to keep their mouths shut when talking about injustice,” said one of the activists, in what sounded like a pre-scripted rant
“Look at the videos of the police getting away with murder and tell me the players are wrong to protest it and that they have no rights to do that,” he said, ignoring the rights of the NFL to determine its own rules for demonstrations — like the NBA, which bans players from protests during the anthem.
“People need to take a knee against white supremacy,” he said. “People need to stand up against you and your buddy Donald Trump and drive his whole regime out, and it begins November 4.”
Here’s an image posted by Adler of a poster featuring slave restraints one of the activists was holding:
After the meeting on Wednesday, Goodell reiterated his call for players to stand during the national anthem, though the league has made clear that they will not mandate it.
“Well, I think one of the things we need to keep the focus on is, again, we believe our players should stand for the national anthem. That’s an important part of our game and our moments, and we believe in that,” said Goodell.
He also bizarrely claimed that only “six or seven” players were protesting “at this point,” which is an obvious underestimation.