Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones found himself embroiled in the NFL’s anthem controversy when he said that his players would either respect the anthem, or not play. However, as it turns out, that’s not the first time Jones has found himself mired in an anthem controversy.
Way back in 1989, Jones’ first year as Cowboys owner, a fan complained to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that Jones and his guest, Elizabeth Taylor, sat during the national anthem. The offended fan was named Ken Johnson. Here’s his letter from nearly 30 years ago, according to USA Today:
“JEERS: To Jerry Jones and Liz Taylor, who were the only two people at last Sunday’s Cowboys-Redskins game not standing when the national anthem was played. Riding out in a cart just before the anthem began was bad enough, but sitting while it was played was more than many of us could handle. Jerry, please note that in Texas, we stand for the national anthem. P.S.: Tom [Landry] always took off his hat.”
Much hay will be made of the fact that the owner who drew the harshest line on the anthem protesters, did not stand for the anthem once himself. However, while Jones clearly should have stood for the anthem, as all people should. I feel safe making the assumption that, whatever Jones’ reason for not standing for the anthem, he probably wasn’t sitting because he felt the flag represented oppression and state-sanctioned police brutality.
In other words, there’s a pretty big difference between sitting during the anthem, and protesting the anthem.