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Equipment / February 16, 2021

One thing fans won’t see during the National Football League preseason: Pro-police decals on the helmets of Dallas Cowboys players, thanks to a league ruling blocking the tribute.

Supporters have decried the NFL’s ban on the “Arm in Arm” helmet decals, which players have worn during practices as a “display of unity” with Dallas police following the July 7 massacre of five officers by an anti-police sniper at a Black Lives Matter protest.

“The NFL had an opportunity to be leaders and advocates for change in law enforcement, ” Sgt. Demetrick Pennie, president of the Dallas Fallen Officer Foundation, told TMZ Sports after the Wednesday ruling.

“These are our friends and our loved ones … it hurts to not have the NFL fully support us, ” Sgt. Pennie said.

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and players drew notice for opening training camp July 30 by walking onto the field with Dallas Police Chief David Brown, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, and relatives of the slain officers.

“I understand that the NFL has uniform rules and guidelines that they’ve got to follow, ” said Cowboys tight end Jason Witten, who helped organize the tribute, in a Thursday statement. “But that still doesn’t mean we’re not going to support and honor our community and stand arm-in-arm with them — now and in the future. It still doesn’t stop us from supporting them.”

Nationally syndicated conservative talk-radio host Mark Levin blasted the anti-decal decision, calling it “embarrassing” and “disgraceful.”

“Let me tell you why the NFL won’t do this. Anyone have a guess? I have a big guess: Because they don’t want any trouble from the leftists. From the Black Lives Matter crowd, ” said Mr. Levin on his Thursday show.

“I know exactly what’s going on here. Like Hillary Clinton doesn’t seek the endorsement from the cops’ union. Of course not. The Democrat Party’s gone, ” Mr. Levin said. “And the NFL top brass, like the NBA top brass, like baseball top brass, all liberal Democrats. [Every] damn one of them, pretty much.”

Others argued that allowing the players to wear the pro-police stickers would open the floodgates for a host of messages and causes.

“It’s an unpopular opinion (not my first) but I think the NFL made the right call, ” said Mr. Cowlishaw in a Thursday column. “There’s a way to honor these men without a decal on the helmet. If you allow that, do you allow decals saying Black Lives Matter? Pro Life? Pro Choice? Repeal Obamacare? John 3:16? Where does it end?

Critics countered out that the NFL has already allowed changes to its players uniforms in order to boost certain causes, such as wearing pink to promote breast-cancer awareness in October.

Promoting breast-cancer research isn’t viewed as particularly divisive, but backers of the “Arm in Arm” decals say honoring police officers shouldn’t be, either.

“These teams and players have a spotlight on them and could have helped bring awareness. If a uniform policy is keeping them from this, then why don’t they have every team wear the decals?” asked Sgt. Pennie.

Conservative website GOPUSA accused the NFL of harboring a double standard, saying the league had no reaction two years ago when St. Louis Rams players conducted a “hands up, don’t shoot” protest, and that Beyonce performed her controversial song “Formation” during the Super Bowl 50 halftime show.

Source: www.washingtontimes.com