President Trump on Monday tweeted his appreciation for Jerry Jones after the Dallas Cowboys owner took a hard posture against players who kneel for the national anthem by threatening their playing time.
“A big salute to Jerry Jones, proprietor of the Dallas Cowboys, who will Bench players who disrespect our Flag.’ Stand for the Anthem or sit for the game! ’”
Jones doubled down on his hardline stance Monday, telling ESPN reporter Chris Mortensen there will be “no exceptions” to his regulation because players who disrespect the flag require consequences.
“( Jones) said there are no exceptions to this rule or this policy. Any player who disrespects the flag or does not stand for the anthem will not play in the game, ” Mortensen said. “And if they want to notify the team before video games, hey I’m not going to do this, they can build them inactive. No exceptions — he started naming Dak Prescott, Zeke Elliott. No exceptions, he said, there are no exceptions.”
Jones also cited a passageway in the NFL Game Operations Manual that suggests how players act on the sideline when the national anthem is being played. Failing to act in a certain way could lead to fines, suspensions or even a team losing draft picks. Jones credited Trump with reminding him of that.
The NFL has said that video games operations passageway is policy and not a rule and that it doesn’t plan to punish players over anthem protests.
Jones made his initial remarks hours after Vice President Mike Pence left the game in Indianapolis early when several San Francisco 49 ers players took a knee during the national anthem. It is the strongest statement any proprietor has built since Trump reignited the anthem dispute weeks prior.
“I know this, we cannot … in the NFL in any way give the implication that we tolerate disrespecting the flag, ” he said in accordance with the Cowboys’ 35 -3 1 loss to the Green Bay Packers. “We know that there is a serious debate in this country about those issues, but there is no question in my intellect that the National Football League and the Dallas Cowboys are going to stand up for the flag. So we’re clear.”
Dallas players have stood on the sideline, many with hands over their hearts, during the anthem ever since former 49 ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started kneeling last season in protest of what he believed were instances of racial injustice in the U.S.
Jones said showing respect for the flag and the anthem is more important to him than any potential issues of squad unity.
“There is no room here if it comes between appearing non-supportive of our players and of each other or creating the impression that you’re disrespecting the flag, we will be non-supportive of each other, ” Jones said. “We will not disrespect the flag.”
Jones said he wasn’t aware of whether any of his players had raised a fist at the end of the anthem before the Green Bay game.
“I don’t know about that, ” Jones said. “But if there’s anything the hell is disrespectful to the flag, then we will not play. OK? Understand? If we are disrespecting the flag, then we won’t play. Period.”
Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross just said Sunday he changed his view on players kneeling for “the member states national” anthems and now wants all players to stand, the Miami Herald reported.
The Associated Press contributed to this report .
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