In the same letter, Goodell also said, “Like many of our fans, we believe that everyone should stand for the national anthem. It is an important moment in our game. We want to honor our flag and our country, and our fans expect that of us.”
While the NFL remains focused on rebranding to take the heat off kneeling and standing, Sharpton called out Jerry Jones for stating his demands that no one on his team kneel for the anthem. Jones recently knelt with his players before the “Star-Spangled Banner” was played before a Monday night football game. He called kneelers disrespectful.
“If he could take a knee, why can’t they take a knee?” said Sharpton at his news conference. “If he can do what he did, why can’t they do what they do? And to act like this blatant contradiction is him taking a principled stand is absolutely the height of absurdity. The issue here has been and continues to be racism and police brutality. This has never been an issue of the flag. This has never been an issue of the anthem or patriotism. It’s about having the flag represent justice for all. It’s about having the flag represent fairness for all.”
“They’re calling on the flag to live up to what we claim it means,” continued Sharpton. “They’re not desecrating the flag. But when you have continued and unaccounted for police misconduct, that’s what desecrates the flag.”