One ESPN co-host is equating Jerry Jones to a slave owner after the Dallas Cowboys proprietor said he will bench any players who are seen “disrespecting the flag” during the national anthem.
Michael Wilbon, co-host of the network's show “Pardon the Interruption,” made the outlandish comparison Monday, the same day fellow anchor Jemele Hill was sidelined for two weeks for encouraging a boycott of the Cowboys.
“And the word that comes to my mind ― and I don't care who doesn't like me using it ― is plantation,” Wilbon said, The Washington Times reported. “The players are here to serve me, and they will do what I want. No matter how much I pay them, they are not equal to me. That's what this says to me and mine.”
Michael Wilbon just compared football players to being on the plantation. pic.twitter.com/53Wef47FCj
— Seth Sanders (@SethDSanders) October 9, 2017
Both Jones's and Wilbon's statements came after politics and sports became even more enmeshed — if that's possible — following Vice President Mike Pence's decision to walk out of an Indianapolis Colts game on Sunday when dozens of San Francisco 49ers players took a knee during the national anthem.
“I don't think it's too much to ask NFL players to respect the Flag and our National Anthem,” Pence said, in part, in a statement.
The vice president's actions were condemned by the left as a political stunt, and 49ers safety Eric Reid accused Pence of contributing to “systemic oppression” by leaving the game over the anthem protest.
Regardless of what people might think of Pence's decision, it certainly got results. It was just hours later that Jones made his policy announcement about the anthem.
“A big salute to Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys, who will BENCH players who disrespect our Flag,” President Donald Trump tweeted.