National anthem protests engulfed the NFL Sunday, and it’s a great time to remember when the NFL banned the Dallas Cowboys from wearing a helmet decal that supported police.
Five Dallas police were murdered in July 2016, and the Cowboys unveiled a special decal to honor with a star and the words “ARM IN ARM” to honor the police.
The NFL wasn’t having any of it, and put an end to the decal before they could wear it for one game.
The Arm in Arm decal the Cowboys unveiled to open training camp won’t be on their helmets when the club opens its preseason schedule Saturday at the Los Angeles Rams.
The Cowboys heard back from the NFL on Wednesday and were told by league officials they can’t wear the decal during any preseason or regular-season games, executive vice president Stephen Jones said. Jones added that the Cowboys can wear the decal during training camp practices.
“Everyone has to be uniform with the league and the other 31 teams,” Jones said after practice Wednesday. “We respect their decision.”
The league has a massive problem on its hands. It can’t be overstated how bad of optics it is to stop a team from supporting police, while at the same time allowing players to protest or skip the national anthem.
Stadiums erupted in booing throughout the country as well over a hundred players refused to stand for the anthem. The NFL should have a fun time trying to explain why its okay with the pregame national anthem becoming a circus act every week, but the Cowboys couldn’t wear a helmet decal after five Dallas police officers were gunned down.
The NFL has a PR nightmare on its hands right now.