The NFL has told the Dallas Cowboys it will not be allowed to wear “Arm in Arm” decals meant to honor the memory of fallen officers in the preseason or the regular season, after the team attempted to adopt the idea proposed by Jason Witten. Of course, the context of that decision is far more complex than the headline would lead you to believe.
The shooting of police officers in Dallas was one of the most tragic events of the year, for the loss of life itself and for the damage it caused to the already fraught debate over police violence against people of color. It seems impossible to honor victims on one side without being seen as attacking the other, but as horrifying as it is to see people on Twitter argue that unarmed black civilians deserved to die, it’s easy to mourn for the slain officers without using the perverse slogan Blue Lives Matter.
The NFL is wound notoriously tight over its uniform protocols, and though wearing tributes to first responders in the wake of the September 11th attacks was a no-brainer, memorializing dead police officers in this case can be seen by many as a sin of omission. After all, it’s not like a Black Lives Matter sticker would have even made it this far (Cowboys VP Stephen Jones signed off on the stickers, but said he would respect the NFL’s refusal). So as much as we’d love to hammer Roger Goodell for once again missing the forest of responsibility for the trees of optics, we’re pretty sure he got this one right.
(Via Fort Worth Star-Telegram)