Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones made national news Sunday when he announced that Cowboys players would be expected to stand for the national anthem and show their respect for the flag. Today, he addressed the situation during a conversation with Shan Shariff and RJ Choppy on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas.
Jones started the discussion by offering praise to his players for the way they’ve shown their respect for the anthem and flag. The Cowboys owner said that he hoped the issue would go away but since it hadn’t, he felt it was important to clarify the team’s position and give members of the organization ammunition should others on the outside ask them to do things that could create further issues.
One point Jones tried to make is that he understands the country is dealing with social issues and players have strong feelings about them. He wasn’t looking to prevent them from expressing themselves but he simply didn’t want those issues becoming a focus during the national anthem.
“I know firsthand a player’s mind should be on nothing but what he’s going to do out on that football field” said Jones. “If we’re going to have any (protest), it needs to be before the anthem.”
The NFL Players Association released a statement yesterday which has created additional discussion about whether or not the NFL operating manual mandates or suggests that players should stand for the anthem. When asked about the suggested grey area in the manual, Jones explained why he disagrees with the NFLPA’s position.
“The intent of the NFL for years has been to stand for the anthem and show respect,” said Jones. “Respecting the flag has been in place for the Cowboys organization since I got here. If you look in our operating manual, this has been in it for 30 years. We’ve always stood for the flag.”
When asked whether his political beliefs and friendship with President Donald Trump influenced his decision, Jones added: “We’re addressing the issue in part because he’s (Trump) been very active in the issue. Because of that, I’ve drawn a line. I’m a friend of the President, but we don’t agree on many, many matters.”
Knowing that some will suggest the owner is being heavy handed, Jones explained the reasons behind his stance.
“My priority is the Dallas Cowboys. If I think something isn’t in the best interest of the Cowboys, I’m going to address it. This is where we work, and this is the expectation that we have while at work. If you don’t honor the flag in a way that our fans think you should, then you won’t play. I don’t want our fans to have to sit there and have angst over these issues. The flag comes ahead of all issues.”
The NFL has earned a lot of negative attention over this issue, putting franchise owners in a difficult position. If they refuse to support their players, it creates an uproar among those who feel peaceful protests should not be denied. One of those individuals is Jemele Hill of ESPN who was suspended for two weeks after encouraging Cowboys fans to steer clear of the team’s advertisers. That’s since been followed up by Reverend Al Sharpton calling for a boycott of ESPN over its decision of disciplining Hill.
On the other hand, there are many fans who are upset with the players for displaying what they consider disrespect during the anthem, which can also lead to tuning outs and an additional lack of support for the league’s teams and advertisers. Jones expressed what he considers the solution to that challenge.
“There is a debate about standing for the flag being disrespectful, so I am removing us from that debate so people don’t have to worry about what the Cowboys will do. There is no way that anybody can say that I’m not supportive of players and their issues. This time what’s best for the Cowboys is to stand for the flag.”
To hear Shan and RJ’s interview with the Cowboys owner, click here.
Jason Barrett is the owner and operator of Barrett Sports Media. Prior to launching BSM he served as a sports radio programmer, launching brands such as 95.7 The Game in San Francisco and 101 ESPN in St. Louis. He has also produced national shows for ESPN Radio including GameNight and the Dan Patrick Show. You can find him on Twitter @SportsRadioPD or reach him by email at [email protected].
KNBR’s Brian Murphy Speaks for First Time After Paul McCaffrey Laid Off
“Paulie Mac is my guy, will forever be my guy. The best thing I could ever wish anyone is that you get to work with someone as loyal, energetic, funny, consistent as the guy his Jersey buddies call ‘Smack’.”
Earlier this week, KNBR underwent a round of layoffs, affecting a pair of programs on the Bay Area sports station, including the departure of longtime morning host Paul McCaffrey. His longtime partner — Brian Murphy — has taken to X to share his thoughts.
In a thread to X, Murphy shared his admiration for McCaffrey, whom he hosted Murph and Mac with for 18 years.
“Paulie Mac is my guy, will forever be my guy. The best thing I could ever wish anyone is that you get to work with someone as loyal, energetic, funny, consistent as the guy his Jersey buddies call ‘Smack’,” wrote Murphy. “So much love.”
He then shared that everything listeners and fans of the program have shared on social media has been read by the duo, and thanked them for the outpouring of love and support.
Finally, Murphy addressed his future. Fill-in host Dieter Kurtenbach shared on Thursday he did not have a definitive answer about Murphy’s future with the Cumulus-owned station.
However, Brian Murphy has shared he will return to the airwaves on Monday morning.
“I’ll be back Monday morning on KNBR with our guy Markus (Waterboy) Boucher,” Murphy wrote. “Come on. It’s Niners-Eagles. Wouldn’t miss it. As Paulie Mac’s board itself would say: The show goes on.”
Mike Mulligan: Sports Radio is More Difficult Than Other Formats Think
He shared that he has worked with people on morning shows that he has seen come to a station fully hungover who play music and proceed to sit on the couch.
On Friday morning’s edition of Mully & Haugh on 670 The Score in Chicago, co-host Mike Mulligan outlined the difference with music radio that hosts are not continuously talking to the audience, instead taking mic breaks and then interspersing commentary with different songs.
Filling in for David Haugh on Friday’s edition of the program was Gabe Ramirez, who used to work in the format with B96 as the host of its morning show. Mulligan’s assertion about the differences between the two formats resulted in a conversation about the differences between the grenres, with Ramirez explaining the difficulties that music radio hosts face on the air.
“The music station’s still creating content,” Ramirez said. “You get to have a guest – since I am going to defend my music stations – you get to have a guest and toss them a softball question and listen to them rant for five minutes.”
Mulligan disagreed with this perspective, conveying that he does not feel their program provides guests with easy questions. Additionally, he shared that he has worked with people on morning shows that he has seen come to a station fully hungover who play music and proceed to sit on the couch.
“As a former sportswriter, we sit around and we talk about sports,” Mulligan said. “We talk about the sports we cover and we talk about other sports.”
“You have to talk about Justin Fields seven days in a row,” Ramirez replied. “As a morning show for music, you have to come up with new content every day.”
Rather than taking umbrage towards the response, Mike Mulligan explained that the key to effectively performing his job is being able to discuss important stories of the day even when they are not the headlines. Furthermore, he expounded on the commitment that it takes to watch the amount of sporting events and to be properly informed on the action so he is able to take the air.
“That I will agree with,” Ramirez said. “I’ve told people this – they ask me, ‘What’s the biggest difference?’ The prep, without question, is way more difficult in sports radio because everyone that’s listening to you already knows the answers and you have to be equally if not more informed in all of those things.”
Minnesota Twins Set to Tab Cory Provus as New TV Voice, Kris Atteberry as Lead Radio Announcer
Provus has been the radio voice of the Minnesota Twins since 2012.
After Dick Bremer exited the Minnesota Twins TV booth in October, the search began for his replacement. The MLB franchise didn’t have to look far, though.
Twins radio voice Cory Provus is reportedly set to become the new TV play-by-play broadcaster for the club, according to a report from Dan Hayes of The Athletic.
Provus has been the radio voice of the Minnesota Twins since 2012. Many immediately tabbed him as the club’s replacement for Bremer, who retired after 40 seasons as the lead television voice of the American League club. Before joining the team in 2012, Provus worked for the Milwaukee Brewers as the number two broadcaster after spending two seasons as the radio pregame host for the Chicago Cubs.
Meanwhile, Kris Atteberry has been signaled as the person set to replace Provus inside the franchise’s radio booth. He has served as the pregame and postgame host for the Minnesota Twins Radio Network since 2007. Atteberry joined the club after spending five years calling games for the then-Independent St. Paul Saints from 2002-2006.
While the television and radio broadcast crews appear set, questions remain about where the team will televise its games in 2024. The club’s contract with Bally Sports North has reportedly expired, and it has yet to sign an agreement with the bankruptcy-laden RSN, or with a local over-the-air television station.