Todd Bowles and the Jets made their statement about President Donald Trump and what's happening in this country when they locked arms on the sidelines during the national anthem on Sunday afternoon. Now the Jets coach wants the world's focus to be on the issues and solutions, not on all the inflammatory Tweets and words.
That was his message on Monday when asked for his feelings about the president's remarks, when he said that players who kneel during the anthem should be fired and labeled them a "son of a bitch."
"Honestly, in my mind, to me, it's no different than a fan saying something when you're coming through the tunnel," Bowles said. "You've got to put that out of mind. The biggest problem here is the issues. You focus on the issues. No matter who is saying what, it doesn't matter, whether it's the president, whether it's another player in another sport, whether it's a coach, whether it's a fan, it really doesn't matter if you don't focus on the issues.
"The issues are the things that happened in Charlottesville. And you've got hurricane victims here and there. You've got to focus on the issues, because the he-said, she-said and the Twitter beef and all that stuff really doesn't matter."
Bowles said he believes his team "did a very good thing" on Sunday, joining arms on the sidelines and inviting new owner Christopher Johnson to join them. Johnson, of course, is the brother of Woody Johnson, who turned over control of the Jets when he accepted the president's nomination as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom.
Asked if Johnson's connection to Trump made the Jets' decision on what to do in the wake of the president's comments difficult at all, Bowles said "It's always a delicate situation anytime you talk about social issues, regardless of who's in charge. But these guys are socially aware, they have a conscience and they want to be heard.
"It's always delicate but we have real conversations, we talk, we hash things out and we come together as a team."
And that, to Bowles, was the bottom line: That the Jets made their statement together as a team. He even hopes unifying demonstrations like that can be an example for the rest of the world.
"We locked arms because we're united," Bowles said. "We're trying to show that we can get things done as a country if we unite together. We're trying to show unity within our team. We're trying to show unity for the league. And we're trying to show unity for everything, all together, that's inclusive."