Cowboys defensive tackle Dontari Poe wants Jerry Jones to speak up about racial injustice.
Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Dontari Poe said Tuesday that he plans to kneel for the national anthem during the 2020 NFL season, and that he hopes owner Jerry Jones will support other players who plan to do the same, per ESPN.
Poe joins a growing list of players planning to protest the anthem in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, including new teammate and fellow defensive tackle Gerald McCoy. Poe also called out Jones for his past silence, urging him to stand in solidarity with his players.
Dontari Poe thinks Jerry Jones owes it to the Cowboys to support players who kneel.
Jones has received criticism for his anthem stances in the past, discouraging his players from engaging in protests and stating that he wanted each player to stand just months after he knelt and locked arms with his team during the anthem.
Poe was also troubled by Jones’ silence regarding the racial injustices plaguing the United States and the recent protests against disproportionate police brutality against the African-American community, and wants the owner to use his massive platform to help his players bring about societal change.
ESPN reported Poe’s full statement, a powerful condemnation of Jones’ silence and a stirring call to action from the new Cowboy.
“You are the owner of an NFL team — you get what I’m saying? The majority of this team are these people that are being oppressed. So even if you are not going to be in the forefront, we need to know we have your support in that type of way.”
-Dontari Poe, Dallas Cowboys (ESPN)
Poe is not the first Cowboy to urge Jones to publicly express his support for his players. McCoy said in June that the owner’s silence was troubling. The two newcomers have quickly become vocal members of the locker room, but it remains to be seen whether Jones will listen to their concerns.
The owner’s past statements about kneeling could provide some clues as to how he feels about protesting the anthem, and his extended silence could suggest that he does not take the social justice issues that have become so pervasive in American society as seriously as other owners or prominent figures.