The Dallas Cowboys wanted to honor the memory of the officers slain in the Dallas police ambush by sporting a decal on their helmets. While coaches and team management supported their decision, the National Football League did not. In fact, the NFL was pretty blatant in their opposition.
Players, coaches and executives came out for the start of training camp on July 30 with a show of solidarity, walking arm-in-arm with Dallas police chief David Brown, Dallas mayor Mike Rawlings and some family members of the officers who were killed.
Witten came up with the idea for the tribute at the start of camp and wanted to continue the message by wearing an “Arm in Arm” decal on the side of the Cowboys’ helmets this season, both in the preseason and in the regular season. That request was denied by the league, the Dallas Morning News reported.
When the players took the field wearing the helmet stickers during their first practice this season, the press was highly favorable. Mayor Rawlings said the gesture “lifted the city up because they lifted a lot of individuals that have been down up today,” adding:
Those families, those young kids — to be arm-in-arm with a quarterback, a coach or a big lineman, they’ll remember that for the rest of their lives.
There are mythic moments in history, in the histories of cities. We went through a terrible one a few weeks ago. This hopefully is a mythic moment to take us to the next level.
The edict from the commissioner came soon afterward, along with a stern warning not to repeat the gesture.
This isn’t the first time the NFL has cracked down on uniform alterations. The league fined players in the past who tried to raise awareness for other issues, including domestic violence.
However, the NFL refused to discipline the St. Louis Rams for making a “hands up, don’t shoot” gesture during the introductions during a game against the Oakland Raiders:
What a pathetic double standard. I urge Dallas and other fans to make and wear their own decals to the game on their jerseys and hats.
Cross-posted at DeneenBorelli.com