Media

ESPN Columnist: NFL Owners Need To ‘Put Some Money’ Toward ‘Criminal Justice Reform,’ ‘Racial Inequality’

Peter Hasson Senior Reporter

NFL team owners who knelt before or during the national anthem this weekend didn’t go far enough in their support of their players’ activism, ESPN columnist L. Z. Granderson argued on the network Tuesday afternoon.

Granderson made his comments in the wake of widespread protests across the NFL this weekend, with hundreds of players and a handful of owners kneeling before or during the anthem. The mass protests followed President Trump using derogatory language towards players who kneel during the national anthem and saying that such players should be fired. (RELATED: 64 Percent Of Americans Say NFL Players Should Stand For Anthem)

“For me it’s like, it’s great, you want to do these sort of demonstrations, you want to do these protests during the anthem because Donald Trump has come down and said some things you don’t approve of, that’s all fine and dandy,” Granderson said of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones kneeling in protest with his players before — but not during — the national anthem on Monday.

“I want to know what the franchises are planning to do, whether you’re Dallas, whether you’re Jacksonville, following the 49ers’ footsteps, which is ‘let’s put some money now and some muscle behind the true efforts that we’re talking about,’ which is, once again, racial inequality, criminal justice reform, police brutality,” Granderson, who is also a CNN commentator, added.

“That’s the mission,” he said. “The mission is not for Jerry Jones to play both sides of the fence. It’s not for him to say, hey, we participated but we didn’t ‘disrespect the flag.’ That’s not what the conversation is about.”

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ESPN has struggled with nosediving ratings amidst, which conservatives have said is due in part to the network’s liberal bias when discussing political issues, which ESPN has increasingly done. (RELATED: Report Says ESPN’s Left-Wing Politics Are Driving Away Viewers)