It was a given that the NFL wouldn’t let the Cowboys wear an “Arm in Arm” decal during the regular season, and that the Cowboys would be permitted to wear the decal during training-camp practices. The only unknown was whether the NFL would let the Cowboys display their support for the Dallas police department during the preseason.
The verdict is in, and the answer is no.
Via Clarence E. Hill, Jr. of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, team V.P. Stephen Jones said Wednesday that the league won’t be allowing the team to attach the round sticker to the back of its helmets for the upcoming slate of four glorified scrimmages.
Right or wrong, the decision reflects at least in part the delicate balance the league is trying to strike regarding issues that could be regarded, plausibly or not, as controversial. Should it be controversial to oppose violence committed against police and gratuitous violence committed by police? Absolutely not. But the league is sufficiently worried that it could be to keep the decal off the helmets.
Then there’s the question of where to draw the line. Currently, the league allows significant deviations from the uniform in October and November for breast cancer awareness and a salute to the military, respectively. The NFL seems to be disinclined to expand that collection of social causes, either for the entire league or for any of its specific teams.