Jerry Jones has been uncharacteristically quiet lately. The Dallas Cowboys owner hasn’t said much, if anything, regarding the social injustice topic that has dominated the NFL and the rest of the sports world. He, like many owners, has laid low on the topic of the Washington Redskins name change. In the past, however, Jones has said the Redskins name was complimentary and ‘one of pride.’
Jerry Jones has taken some heat for remaining quiet
When George Floyd, a black man, died on May 25 at the hands of a white Minneapolis police officer, the racial injustice topice dominated the news. It was the hot topic throughout sports with many professional athletes making strong statements. It brought back to life Colin Kaepernick’s kneeling during the national anthem in 2016.
Kaepernick was kneeling to bring awareness to racial injustice. Floyd’s death has done the same. Protests were taking place throughout the country as NFL players, NBA players, and several other athletes were making videos on social media to promote the awareness. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell even apologized for the way the league handled the Kaepernick situation.
Jerry Jones, however, has been silent throughout. Never one to be shy in front of a television camera or microphone, Jones has been blasted by some for not speaking out on the issue. San Francisco 49ers outspoken cornerback Richard Sherman said Jones’ “silence speaks volumes.”
Washington Redskins name controversy
Although the name ‘Redskins’ has been part of the Washington football team for better than 87 years, it hasn’t been immune to controversy. Throughout the years, there have been numerous complaints that the name is a racial slur. Team owner Daniel Snyder believed otherwise, saying it was a name that honored Native Americans. He said he would never change the name.
After George Floyd’s death, racial inequality was brought to the forefront and the topic of the Redskins name was back in the news. Snyder was under pressure to make a change. FedEx, the company that owns the naming rights for the stadium, threatened to pull out. Companies such as Nike and Amazon were pulling any Redskins products off their sites. Snyder agreed to make a change and the team no longer is called the Redskins.
A new name, however, still hasn’t been determined. The delay has apparently be caused because of a trademarking issue. While the team was hesitating on changing its name, several nicknmes were taken. According to Yahoo! Sports, a Virginia man named Philip Martin McCaulay jumped in and trademarked many of the potential names that would suit the Redskins.
Jones once said Redskins was a complimentary name
According to The Washngton Post, Jerry Jones, in 2014, was asked his opinion of the Redskins name. He was specifically asked if he thought it would be changed. “Well, I don’t have the issue,” he said. “I know that it’s not in any way meant to denigrate the Redskins, or the Washington team, or what it represents. It’s like Cowboys to me. And I think we should all feel that way about it. It’s a great part of the tradition of the league. And I don’t want to be insensitive, but I sure think that if the Redskins and (Daniel) Snyder want to keep that, then they should keep it.
“On the other hand, I do understand the times we’re in,” Jones went on. “We’re in changing times, relative to sensitivity. And I have all of that (sensitivity) that you could possibly ask for in my thoughts as well. But I think it’s pretty pointed that this name is one of pride; this name is one of competition; this name is one of a lot of great things that have happened with this franchise. And should be looked at that way.”
The previous year, Jones also commented on the matter and said, “I don’t want to weigh in on it, other than the fact that I know that it was intended initially and is today to be complimentary,” Jones said.