Flag On The Play: A Community’s Response to NFL Owner’s Declaration

For immediate release: October 24, 2017
Contact: Rev. Frederick D. Haynes III
972.228.5228

 

Concerned clergy, organizers, activists, and those who seek liberation and justice, prepared a statement in response to the recent comments made by Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones: “…if any of (his) players decide to exercise their first amendment rights and not stand/take a knee during the playing of the national anthem they will be benched indefinitely.”

Many surmise Jones statement is grounded in his unyielding loyalty to American patriotism, when in fact Jones’ statement is a reflection of his commitment to the protection of and participation in American capitalism—ideals which are the core of America’s national identity.

Rev. Frederick D. Haynes III and others kneel at Dallas Police Department after discussing narrative surrounding protest during the national anthem. #kneelingforward

Therefore,

  • We reject the supposition put forth by Jerry Jones that the players’ actions are unpatriotic acts and the denial of players’ right to exercise their liberty to peacefully protest.
  • We reject the continuing state-sanctioned murders of unarmed Black children, women and men whose murders have gone unpunished. 
  • We stand on our moral authority to call for an end to the terror unleashed on our communities.
  • We affirm the moral courage of players who have taken a knee – daring to put a mirror up to the face of America and force this nation to see the acts of violence perpetrated against Black and Brown bodies.
  • We affirm and stand with Colin Kaepernick’s initial stand for justice in response to police brutality.

To this end, we are calling for a:

  • Reclamation of the original narrative which was in response to police brutality.
  • The establishment of a Citizens Review Board with subpoena and investigative power.
  • Reform in the money—bail system.

It is the right of every American citizen to express outrage against police brutality and white supremacy with moral clarity and peaceful dissent. The fight for justice is never contingent upon popularity or the consensus of the majority. This fight for justice is rooted in love for humanity.