New York, NY – Four years after the NFL refused to allow the Dallas Cowboys to display decals honoring murdered officers, the league has made an exception for Black Lives Matter.
In 2016, Micah Johnson launched a terrorist attack in Dallas targeting the city’s police officers during a Black Lives Matter protest.
Johnson assassinated five of the police officers and wounded seven other officers, according to the New York Times.
At that time, Dallas Police Chief David Brown said the shooter “was upset about Black Lives Matter” and was targeting white people, especially white police officers, according to the New York Times.
A little more than a month after the shootings, the Dallas Cowboys had a plan to honor the murdered Dallas Police Department officers by wearing a helmet decal.
The “Arm in Arm” decals were meant to pay tribute to those officers when the Cowboys played a pre-season game.
However, the Dallas Morning News reported that the Cowboys were not allowed to wear the helmet decals during any pre-season or regular season games.
The league cited their policy of not allowing decals.
“The NFL had an opportunity to be leaders and advocates for change in law enforcement,” Dallas Police Sergeant Demetrick Pennie, president of the Dallas Fallen Officers Foundation, said at the time, according to TMZ.
Now, four years later, the NFL has changed its policy on what is allowed on helmets.
In no shape or form is this idea a way to permanently fix the social injustices against myself and the black people of America, but symbols in sports always show promise ESPECIALLY WHEN ITS BACKED BY THEIR LEAGUE…
— Zach Banner (@ZBNFL) June 8, 2020
The Associated Press reported July 21 that the NFL will allow decals on teams’ helmets that bear the names or initials of “victims of systemic racism and police violence.”
The AP reported the NFL has had discussions since June on the issue.
Front Office Sports reported that “George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, and Tamir Rice are just some of the people who are expected to be mentioned on the individual tribute decals.”
Michael Brown was fatally shot while beating a police officer and trying to take his gun.
The decision to wear the decals will be left up to individual NFL players, according to Steve Wyche, senior correspondent for the NFL Network.
“You might have one team with 15 different decals,” said Wyche, according to Front Office Sports.
The NFL is expected to start its season on Sept. 10.