Dallas Cowboys' Jerry Jones, Outspoken Against Kneeling Before, Stays Silent on George Floyd

San Francisco 49ers star Richard Sherman has criticized NFL owners for remaining silent in the wake of George Floyd's killing, singling out Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones for not making his voice heard.

Since Floyd died while in custody of the Minneapolis Police Department on May 25, widespread protests in the U.S. and abroad have called for social changes and an end to police brutality.

In an unprecedented move, the NFL has publicly thrown its weight behind the protests, with commissioner Roger Goodell condemning racism and acknowledging the league had not done enough to heed black players' calls for justice.

A host of players and coaches have also joined the chorus of voices demanding justice for Floyd, but with the exception of Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis—who backed players to protest—and 49ers CEO Jed York—who donated $1 million to social justice organizations—team owners have been conspicuous by their absence.

Sherman acknowledged some may not feel the need to speak after Goodell's statement, but found their silence troubling nevertheless.

"It's not pulling them [the owners] like it is the rest of the country," the 49ers cornerback told the San Francisco Chronicle.

"Because if it was, then they'd speak. Jerry Jones, especially, has no problem speaking up any other time about anything else. But when it's such a serious issue, and he could really make a huge impact on it with a few words, his silence speaks volumes."

One of the most outspoken characters in the NFL, Jones was a vocal critic of the protests introduced by Colin Kaepernick. The then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback became a global icon in 2016 when he first took a knee during the anthem to protest against racial discrimination and police brutality.

The following season, Jones made clear he would not tolerate any Cowboys players kneeling during the national anthem.

"We cannot in any way give the implication that we tolerate disrespecting the flag," he told the Dallas Morning News. "We know that there is a serious debate in this country about those issues, but there is no question in my mind, that the [NFL] and the Dallas Cowboys are going to stand up for the flag."

Following Floyd's death, Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores, Dallas Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Lawrence, Houston Texans star J.J. Watt, Cleveland Browns star receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill have all spoken out against police brutality.

On Sunday, Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn, general manager Thomas Dimitroff and members of the team joined a peaceful demonstration in Atlanta.

Jacksonville Jaguars and Denver Broncos players also joined the protests in their respective cities.

It was Goodell's words last week, however, that sent shockwaves around football and U.S. sports as a whole. Criticized for releasing a bland, run-of-the-mill statement in the wake of Floyd's death last month, the NFL commissioner significantly upped the ante on Friday.

His statement matched almost word for word the requests a host of NFL stars, including Super Bowl LIV winner Patrick Mahomes and Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, had made a day earlier.

In a video addressed to the league, the players called on the league to support the Black Lives Matter movement and to acknowledge it had silenced players who have protested against racism and the oppression of black people.

"We, the National Football League, condemn racism and the systematic oppression of black people," Goodell said in his response.

"We, the National Football League, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all players to speak out and peacefully protest. We, the National Football League, believe that black lives matter."

Jerry Jones
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has been criticized for not publicly condemning George Floyd's death. Elsa/Getty