Jason Witten and Dez Bryant may no longer be Dallas Cowboys, but those ties run very deep. Bryant has been very outspoken on social media concerning all things Cowboys since he left the team and recently targeted Witten and the Jones family. In the midst of a number of large protests surrounding the death of George Floyd, Bryant called them out for not attending a peaceful protest.
Somebody should have brought Jerry jones Stephen jones and Jason witten to this protest down in Austin……this is not a policy change this is a heart change and yea I said it
— Dez Bryant (@DezBryant) June 7, 2020
While the Cowboys organization has released a statement about racism, Witten and both Jones’ have stayed pretty quiet throughout the process. However, Bryant’s tweet did elicit a response from the new Las Vegas Raiders tight end.
Since signing with a new team, Witten has been very quiet on social media. He hasn’t even changed his profile pictures to show him in Raider gear. He broke his silence to respond to Bryant calling him out.
Dez – When I saw your tweet, I tried to call you. I don’t know what you’re feeling, but I do know what I stand for and believe in.
I believe it’s time for change.
I believe we must all listen.
I believe together is the way.
Let’s unite and impact change together. Much Love. https://t.co/pzB0bUa9AJ
— Jason Witten (@JasonWitten) June 8, 2020
Bryant then praised the response from his former teammate.
— Dez Bryant (@DezBryant) June 8, 2020
Witten has always been a strong leader and while he’s been quiet on social media, it doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s not wanting to work with other players to see how to make things better.
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Witten Has Commented on Anthem Protest in the Past
There have been players who have taken very strong stances against protests of the National Anthem. New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees was among them before he took his statement back. However, Witten has always been kept an open mind on the issue.
“It’s not a situation where you say, ‘I’ve got this, I know how this goes,'” Witten said about the protests in 2017, per Dallas News. “You listen and you talk through it. That’s what the leaders did.”
Witten did acknowledge that it wasn’t easy.
“I think it’s just challenging, I don’t know that it’s awkward,” he said. “It’s just a challenging situation because there’s so many different viewpoints on it.
“As a football team, that’s what makes the locker room so great – that there are different walks and different beliefs and different skin colors. But when you come inside these walls, just none of that matters.”
Even during Colin Kaepernick’s 2016 protest, Witten supported his rights to do it.
“Certainly we have that freedom in this country,” Witten said, per CBS. “We’re fortunate to be able to (choose). There’s been a lot of guys taking stands and you look at what we did with police families and victims families, that was something we put our efforts into, and we felt that was important. There’s been a lot of talk about it. I love what different guys have said and done. Unique perspectives. Everybody does have a different point of view.”
Things have cooled down the last couple of seasons concerning anthem protests, but they are bound to heat back up this year and even NFL commissioner Roger Goodell came out in support of peaceful protests. It’s very possible there’s a lot more unity throughout teams on the issue. We could see a lot more protests that are orchestrated by entire teams.