Jones Threats are Failing to Stampede Cowboys

Labor Organizing
Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

New Orleans   The fallout on the NLRB charge filed by Local 100 United Labor Unions over the threats he has made to attempt to chill workplace protests, continues to attract attention nationally and, increasingly, support.

The charge forced owner Jerry Jones to meet with the players yesterday, and by all reports there was no happiness in Mudsville. Players avoided the media and for the most part would not discuss the meeting with Jones. As Dallas Fox4 reported, “Things seemed tense when they were asked about the meeting with Jones.” Stars, Dak Prescott, Dez Bryant, and Ezekiel Elliot, seem to have deliberately made themselves scare.

Dallas Cowboys player representative tried to strike a middle ground, indicating there are undoubtedly tense conversations being held to try to pull Jones off his illegal limb and back to some ground that he might be able to share with the players, most of whom are not used to being bullied for any reason, on or off the field. Quoted by Fox,

Kicker Dan Bailey is the team’s union player representative. He spoke cautiously about the issue and tried to navigate through it. “I don’t think you can ever bring a group of people together and collectively agree. I think there’s always going to be people that have different opinions, different beliefs,” he said. “I think the main focus is to just establish a baseline where you can come together and agree on something in principle. It doesn’t mean that your individual views are right or wrong. Like I said, when you come in this door, we’re working towards something as a team. I think that’s the main focus.”

More interestingly, as Fox4 called around they found solid support for Local 100’s charge from employment lawyers on the rule issue, and reportedly from other lawyers arguing the players might have constitutional grounds for a First Amendment suit as well. Here’s what the attorney offered,

Employment and labor lawyer Amy Davis, who is not involved in the complaint, says the labor union may have a case, citing the NFL’s current game manual. “What the manual says is they should stand not that a requirement,” Davis said. “And what Jerry Jones is doing is saying, ‘No, it is a requirement.’” Some legal experts also believe the NFL could face a first amendment lawsuit for punishing players who take a knee if the stadium they play in was funded with taxpayer money, which AT&T Stadium was.

Stay tuned, this is not an issue that is going away.

But, let’s be frank, that’s the high side of real news and measured response.

Turns out Facebook is also a way for haters to rage. A couple of messages came in full of Obama rage and the “n” word. Whoever says the issue of these protests is not racial is not paying attention for sure. As disturbing were the number of people who wrote that this was Jones’ team and his field and these were his players, and they had to do whatever he says. Whoa, Nellie, not in this country. Al Sharpton was quoted in a USA Today report including the charge that Jones seemed to think he was still “running the plantation.” A couple of union members, one from the IBEW, weren’t happy, because they felt the anthem trumped the more fundamental rights of the players. Brothers, there’s a law, won partially by your unions, so let’s follow it.

It wasn’t all bad. One woman asked how she could make a donation to Local 100 for standing up on this issue. That’s unique. I need to get back to her.