Cowboys star shrugs off Jerry Jones' silence

At least one Dallas Cowboys star doesn’t need to hear a message from team owner Jerry Jones when it comes to the civil rights and social justice statements that have swept across the NFL and America since the homicide of George Floyd last month in Minneapolis.

In an interesting twist, the man who is shrugging off Jones’ silence also happens to be one of the Cowboys’ most outspoken players: defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence.

Lawrence said he was indifferent to Jones’ silence over the last month, telling the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that he didn’t see how a statement from the Cowboys owner or NFL protests could effect change in the country. It was a notable sentiment, given that fellow Dallas defensive lineman Gerald McCoy recently criticized Jones’ silence since the death of Floyd and ensuing social unrest that swept the country.

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Those events prompted an unprecedented show of support from both the NFL league office and every team in the league — which included a statement from the Cowboys, but not Jones specifically.

It’s that latter point — the lack of Jones’ specific voice — that has drawn criticism. Not only because he’s considered the most powerful team owner in the NFL, but also because Jones has historically demanded that his players refrain from kneeling in protest during the national anthem. While Lawrence didn’t endorse Jones’ views on kneeling, the star defensive lineman suggested to the Star-Telegram that protests were divisive.

Dallas Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence, right, said he is indifferent to team owner Jerry Jones' silence in the wake of George Floyd's death that sparked protests and social unrest around the country. (AP Photo/Richard W. Rodriguez)

“Protests ain’t gonna help change anything,” Lawrence told the Star-Telegram on Saturday, while attending a rally to support establishing Juneteenth as a national holiday. “It ain’t gonna do nothing but start more riots between different ethnicities and different backgrounds. The real thing to do is focus on our youth. If our youth understands our struggles — our history — if our youth understand that they can be more than the position that they was placed in, then that’s how we thinking.”

Asked if he expected to hear from Jones at some point, Lawrence replied: “This whole situation has nothing to do with Jerry or anybody in Jerry’s position.”

“This is about us coming together, focusing on how we can make a change, focusing on how we can come together and be united,” Lawrence said. “I don’t feel like one man in Jerry’s position or any of those types of positions can really make a change. The only thing they can do is give us money to make a change. What kind of help do we need from Jerry? We need to stand on our own two feet, be the men that we’re supposed to be, and build foundations and build these centers to help.”

Where it concerned Jones’ silence, Lawrence was clearly apart from McCoy, who made several pointed statements about the Cowboys owner last week — in hopes that the franchise would get behind the effort to make Juneteenth a national holiday.

“You have the players, who have their own brand, but we’re all under the umbrella of the Dallas Cowboys,” McCoy told ESPN. “The Dallas Cowboys are the most recognized franchise in the world. They can get behind it, whether it’s the players or just being in the movement, period, and showing their support. It would be great to hear a statement from the Cowboys, great to hear a statement from Jerry Jones in support of everything that’s going on. Will that get me in trouble saying that? I don’t know, but the truth is it needs to be said. The problem is people are afraid to have the conversations.”

McCoy later sharpened his criticism of Jones’ silence during an appearance on ESPN’s “First Take.”

“It don’t look good, I’ll say that,” McCoy said. “It doesn’t look good, and you can’t be silent at a time like this. I’m new to the Cowboys organization, and I’m blessed to be part of this organization. … But when things are not going well for the team, you can hear him screaming. Well, this is life. This is bigger than just football, it’s bigger than money, it’s bigger than winning a Super Bowl. And something needs to be said.”

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Bill Barr Scorcher: Effort to Push Trump From Office Closest Thing to Coup Since Lincoln Assassination

Attorney General William Barr took his verbal scalpel and shredded the complete “bovine silence” of the media following the “complete collapse” of the attempted coup of President Trump – an attempt that he agreed hasn’t been seen since the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.

Other than that, the interview on “Sunday Morning Futures With Maria Bartiromo” was a complete snore-fest.

Real Clear Politics provides a transcription of the interplay between the attorney general and host Maria Bartiromo, who told Barr:

“A source said to me a couple of years ago, speaking of the Russia collusion story, that this was the closest the United States ever came to a coup to take down a president since the assassination of Lincoln. Is that an appropriate statement?” Bartiromo asked Barr.

“In this sense, I think it is the closest we have come to an organized effort to push a president out of office,” Barr agreed. “I’m not reaching a judgment to what the motivations there were.”

He said that the motivations may have been different for each of the players in the scandal.

Barr: Stunning Silence

But there was more. Barr’s exasperation with an incurious media and their lack of concern over the Russiagate’s toll on civil liberties was “stunning” to him.

It’s been stunning that what we’ve gotten from the mainstream media is sort bovine silence in the face of the complete collapse of the so called Russiagate scandal, which they did all they could to sensationalize and drive. And it’s like not even a ‘whoops’ and they are on the next false scandal. So that has been surprising to me that people are not concerned about civil liberties and our governmental process.

The investigation into the underpinnings of the Russiagate scandal is underway by U.S. Attorney John Durham. But Barr admitted that the pandemic has slowed down interviews into the matter.

As far as Durham’s investigation is, he’s pressing ahead as hard as he can and hopefully will have some developments hopefully before the end of the summer.

[H]is investigation will continue, it isn’t going to stop because of the election. It may depend on who wins the election. There has been delay because of the pandemic, yes there has.

He said it’s no secret that grand juries have not been held in the various districts since the pandemic began. And that there was a “distinct slowing down” of the process of interviewing witnesses, but  Durham’s office has been working where he can on “other factors that he can during the pandemic.”

Among the things he’d like to know is why there was so much unmasking of Trump-related people during the latter days of the Obama administration.

Barr also talked with Bartiromo about the Seattle CHOP’s so-called autonomous zone, where Lefitst radicals squatting there have committed shootings, assaults and a murder.  Barr wouldn’t say what plans there are to intervene, but did say that his job was to mete out justice equally and fairly “without the influence of the mob.” He said protests are fine but mob violence is not and “we need to restore public order.”

On the Rayshard Brook’s shooting in Atlanta, Barr said he would have preferred that the investigation into the shooting been finished before charges were filed against the police officers involved.

Maria Bartiromo @MariaBartiromo

AG Barr on Rayshard Brooks: Would've like to have seen completed investigation http://ow.ly/m4G630qRFJL  @MorningsMaria @FoxBusiness

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Bartiromo also asked about former national security adviser John Bolton’s new book dishing dirt on President Trump. Barr said the Trump administration has not asked him to look into the publication of the book that is said to contain classified information. Barr said he’s in the loop anyway because of the process by which sensitive books are vetted. He said one of things the Trump administration may do if they can’t stop the publication is to recover all of Bolton’s earning on the books. Taking Bolton’s millions in earnings for the book is legal for the administration to do.

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985,000 NO-SHOWS: TRUMP RALLY TANKS

The event in Tulsa was the first Trump rally to take place in months. The upper stands were empty, and there was plenty of room in front of the stage.

President Donald Trump addressed an enthusiastic — though smaller than expected — crowd of supporters at a campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Saturday night as some protesters gathered outside to call for an end to systemic racism and police brutality.

“You are warriors, thank you. We had some very bad people outside,” Trump told the crowd inside the BOK Center, later referring to protesters as “thugs.”

The Tulsa event, the first Trump rally to take place in months, was held against the advice of Trump’s own coronavirus task force, which had urged White House officials to nix the event amid fears it might spread coronavirus.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s top infectious disease expert, advised in an interview earlier this month that large events of any kind, including Trump’s rally, remain “risky,” and he urged people to avoid such gatherings.  

The Trump campaign warned potential rallygoers that they would participate in the event at their own risk. The registration page for the rally included a legal disclaimer that said attendees could not sue Trump or his campaign if they found themselves infected with COVID-19.

On Saturday afternoon, the Trump campaign confirmed that at least six rally staffers tested positive for the coronavirus. The staffers were immediately quarantined, the campaign said.

Trump did not mention the sick staffers during his address, but he repeatedly downplayed the threat of the coronavirus and referred to it as the “Chinese virus” and “kung flu.” 

At one point, Trump suggested he wanted COVID-19 testing to be slowed down, as more testing uncovers more cases. (A White House official later told The Wall Street Journal that Trump was “clearly joking” about slowing down testing.)

“Testing is a double-edged sword,” Trump told the crowd in Oklahoma. “Here’s the bad part: When you do testing to that extent, you’re gonna find more people, you’re gonna find more cases.”

“I said to my people, ‘Slow the testing down, please,’” he said.  

Rally attendees were given face coverings when they entered the venue but many chose not to wear them, The Washington Post reported. Most police officers and National Guard soldiers who were on site also chose not to cover their faces, according to the publication. 

Joe Biden released a statement after the rally responding to Trump’s remarks on COVID-19: “This virus has killed nearly 120,000 Americans and cost tens of millions their jobs, in large part because this president could not and would not mobilize testing as quickly as we needed it. To hear him say tonight that he has ordered testing slowed — a transparent attempt to make the numbers look better — is appalling.”

Trump’s aides previously claimed that more than 1 million people wanted tickets to the main rally inside the BOK Center. But the actual turnout fell short of expectations.   

The president was initially scheduled to address supporters outside the arena, which has a capacity of 19,000 people, earlier in the evening before heading inside. But Trump’s campaign canceled the outdoor remarks at the last minute.

At the time the cancellation was announced, only a few dozen people were reportedly gathered in the overflow area outside the venue. Inside, the upper stands were empty, and there was plenty of room in the standing-only area in front of the stage. 

Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh blamed protesters for the low turnout, saying demonstrators blocked access to metal detectors, which prevented participants from entering the venue. 

“Radical protesters, coupled with a relentless onslaught from the media, attempted to frighten off the President’s supporters,” Murtaugh said. 

Trump’s campaign manager, Brad Parscale, echoed a similar sentiment.

There were some minor clashes between Trump supporters and anti-Trump protesters gathered outside the BOK Center, but there were no major violent confrontations in the lead-up to the event.

Black city leaders had urged people to stay away from Trump’s event, The New York Times reported. Instead, hundreds of people gathered at Veterans Park, about a 30-minute walk away, to participate in the “Rally Against Hate.”

“Our biggest thing was to make sure people felt safe tonight,” rally organizer Tykebrean Cheshire told the Post. “Going to the BOK Center didn’t feel like a safe option. I wanted to do the old-school [Martin Luther King] thing. We’re able to connect with each other, and that’s the most important thing today.”

There had been concerns before the rally that violence might erupt after Trump tweeted what appeared to be a veiled threat aimed at potential protesters. 

“Any protesters, anarchists, agitators, looters or lowlifes who are going to Oklahoma please understand, you will not be treated like you have been in New York, Seattle, or Minneapolis,” the president tweeted Friday. “It will be a much different scene!”

Bracing for potential violence at the Trump event, Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum issued an executive order on Thursday declaring a civil emergency ahead of the rally. Bynum said the city expected tens of thousands of people to flock to the vicinity of the event, including “individuals from organized groups who have been involved in destructive and violent behavior in other States” and who were planning on traveling to Tulsa “for purposes of causing unrest in and around the city.”

On Saturday afternoon, a peaceful protester wearing an “I Can’t Breathe” T-shirt was arrested by Tulsa police outside the BOK Center at the behest of Trump’s campaign staff. “I Can’t Breathe” has become a rallying cry for protesters calling for the end of racism and police brutality following the death last month of George Floyd, a Black man in Minneapolis who uttered those words as a white police officer knelt on his neck, leading to his death.

The protester — identified by police as Tulsa resident Sheila Buck — was accused of trespassing in a secure area accessible only to ticket holders, though Buck said she had a ticket for the event. A video of the arrest shows officers grabbing Buck by her armpits and dragging her away.

Trump lambasted protesters, calling them “thugs” and “bad people,” but did not respond their calls to end racial injustice or police brutality in the wake of Floyd’s death. 

The president spoke for more than an hour and a half but did not mention Floyd’s name at all. He also did not mention Juneteenth, which fell on Friday and commemorates the end of slavery in America.

Trump had previously been criticized for planning the Tulsa rally on Juneteenth. He postponed the rally by one day after facing backlash. 

Near the end of his address, Trump said only that he’d “done more for the Black community in four years than Joe Biden has done in 47 years,” referring to the former vice president and the presumptive Democratic nominee for president. 

“Racial justice begins with Joe Biden’s retirement from public life,” Trump said.

The president did spend about 10 minutes of his speech defending his awkward walk down a ramp after a speech at West Point last week. 

“It was like an ice-skating rink,” Trump said of the ramp.

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