Cowboys legend Daryl “Moose” Johnston drew a sharp distinction between the way things were when he visited the White House as a player, and the way things stand with the current anthem protest movement.
Johnston tweeted: “I did not vote for Bill Clinton and I did not agree with most of his policies. But when he extended an invitation to our TEAM to visit the White House to celebrate our first Super Bowl Championship I was honored to attend and meet the President of the United States.
I did not vote for Bill Clinton and I did not agree with most of his policies. But when he extended an invitation to our TEAM to visit the White House to celebrate our first Super Bowl Championship I was honored to attend and meet the President of the United States. #GoodOldDays pic.twitter.com/OfEgBEgDqw
— Daryl Johnston (@DarylJohnston) June 8, 2018
Johnston’s message, clearly directed at the Philadelphia Eagles and possibly others who have refused or expressed disinterest in visiting the White House, is one of only a few public criticisms that former athletes have made of current NFL players. Given Johnston’s status as a member of the Fox broadcast team, his criticism stands out as possibly the only public push-back from a member of the media which directly covers and comments on the NFL.
While some will point out that the Eagles criticism of President Trump is far more about the president’s personal conduct and comments, as opposed to his policies.
Johnston’s central point proves true.
There was once a time in the National Football League when players did not take things personally and were able to look beyond themselves for the good of the team. Or, as citizens, they were willing to put differences aside out of respect for the office of the presidency.
Whether those differences could get classified as political or personal, is ultimately inconsequential. The point is that players throughout history have had strongly felt objections to the president who invited them to the White House, and yet, they went.
As Johnston laments, those days are truly and sadly, gone.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn