San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman decried Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones on Monday for the latter’s decision to require players to stand for the national anthem.
“The owner of the Dallas Cowboys, with the old plantation mentality,” Sherman told USA Today of Jones. “What did you expect?”
Jones said Wednesday that the Cowboys will require players to “stand during the anthem, toe on the line,” words that brought praise from President Donald Trump, who repeatedly has voiced his desire to have the league force all players to stand.
Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins responded to Jones’ words by calling the Cowboys owner a “bully,” adding that Jones would “intimidate and thwart even the idea of players thinking individually.”
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported Monday that the NFL has told Jones to stop talking about the anthem publicly.
Sherman also told USA Today he is encouraged that the league and the NFL Players Association are discussing the anthem situation, but he added that the new policy passed by owners this offseason — which has been put on hold while the sides discuss — was poorly conceived.
“They’re having the conversations; that’s awesome,” said Sherman, who is a member of the NFLPA’s executive committee. “But there are unintended consequences. If they did (the new policy) to appease people, they didn’t appease anyone. It’s like putting a Band-Aid over a broken leg.”
The 30-year-old cornerback had similarly harsh words for an on-field rule change, opposing the league’s new regulation prohibiting players from lowering their helmets.
“They’ll see how ridiculous it is once they make the refs call it,” Sherman said. “It’s going to be worse than holding, worse than the catch rule. On a good form tackle, guys will lead with their shoulder pads, but you bring your head.
“It’s going to be a disaster.”
The eighth-year veteran avoided the physically unable to perform list at 49ers camp as he recovers from a torn Achilles tendon that ended his 2017 campaign. He participated in his first padded practice on Sunday, having up-and-down moments in one-on-ones before steadying in team drills.
As he gets closer to full health, Sherman — who joined the 49ers in March after being released by the Seattle Seahawks — affirmed his decision to bet on himself with an incentive-heavy deal in free agency.
“I know how hard I work,” he said. “I know the way my body responds, how much time I had. I knew how much progress I had already made and I knew if I continued on that path I’d be ready for training camp.”
San Francisco defensive coordinator Robert Saleh told reporters the four-time Pro Bowler “doesn’t have anything to prove” and “just has to get his legs back.”
—Field Level Media