FRISCO – Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has been conspicuously quiet on the subject of the civil rights movement. But a source close to the NFL powerbroker tells CowboysSI.com that behind the scenes Jones has met with at least one major NFL corporate sponsor, Bank of America, regarding a public course of action.
As Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder is discovering after decades of resistance to requests to replace his team’s racially-insensitive mascot, change can come in many forms and with many motivations. They can come societally. They can come financially.
FedEx, the $205 million title sponsor of Washington’s stadium in Landover, Maryland, announced on Thursday, “We have communicated to the team in Washington our request that they change the team name.” Nike and PepsiCo then expressed similar sentiments.
And then Bank of America said it has “encouraged the team to change the name” and welcomed the organization’s review.
It stands to reason that Bank of America would issue the same thoughts in their meeting with Jones, who has long been the NFL’s most staunch proponent of “toeing the line” during the pre-game national anthem – a time when former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick and other players have in recent season chosen to protest.
Snyder is in a sense a protege of Jones’; they are surely in contact on this matter. Snyder’s sudden opened-mindedness (also fueled by his local government’s position that it won’t help him build a new stadium unless the nickname is changed) could be knotted with what the Jones family does going forward. The Washington change also has the approval of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
Jones’ daughter, Charlotte Jones-Anderson, is likely among the driving forces in the Cowboys public game plan regarding an issue that moves into the headlines after the police-custody killing of George Floyd. “Being on the right side of history” is one logical motivation for the Jones family to at least echo some of what their own Cowboys players are actively saying and doing. Even in Washington, that’s already happened with the organization in June removing the name of allegedly racist founder George Preston Marshall from its Ring of Fame.
But there can be reasons of “dollars and sense” involved – likely the reason that Jerry Jones’ consultations regarding a social justice strategy features at least one of the NFL’s biggest check-writers.