In a new study on low morale of academic librarians, Kaetrena Kendrick states that “low morale experiences were often triggered by an unexpected negative event or a relationship that developed in an unexpected and negative manner. (p.6)” With Jerry Jones adamant pronouncement that all his players will stand for the national anthem, I surmise that this may lead to low morale with his players. Colin Kaepernick started kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality against unarmed black and brown women and men. During a campaign rally in Alabama, President *45 said that NFL owners should fire the SOB’s that kneel during the anthem.
What did Jerry Jones do at the next game? He was on the field kneeling with his players before the anthem then standing and locking arms with them. Keep in mind that he’s usually not on the field during the playing of the national anthem. So, Jerry will take a knee to be defiant because no billionaire wants to be told what to do by another so-called billionaire (can’t say for sure that*45 is a billionaire because we still haven’t seen his taxes). But, when it comes to standing or kneeling against police brutality, he has threatened to bench any player who does kneel. In other words, to hell with what happens in the black community, I control these black bodies who incidentally are the majority of the team and his Big 3 – Dak, Dez, and Zeke. He doesn’t care that these players may have had encounters with police or run the risk of having these encounters a la Michael Bennett. Their lives are on the line daily, off and on the field, just by the nature of their skin color.
In Kendrick’s study, participants “noted that the unexpected nature of the trigger event played a role in their immediate responses…. Blindsided/betrayal, shock, and anger (including its iterations, e.g., irritation, annoyance) were significant emotions that respondents felt during and immediately after their trigger events.” I know we often lose sight of athletes as human beings with feelings as if becoming millionaires strips you of any emotional response, but I wonder if this event or stance by Jerry will trigger low morale among players. Because players want to avoid Jerry’s “shit list,” we may not see a noticeable response on the field or even during any upcoming interviews. I think this will be something that will fester and simmer underneath the surface. Where it may come up is in negotiating contracts. Current players may opt out at the end of their contracts and pursue free agency. Free agents from other teams may choose not to sign even if the money is right. This may not be Houston, but Dallas, we have a problem.
*45 – asterisk because of possible interference from the Russians in the presidential elections – waiting on Mueller.