Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones has been vocal in his opposition of players kneeling during the playing of the National Anthem. Jones has made it perfectly clear to the league, fans and more importantly — his players, what will happen if his players kneel. So far Jones has been the only owner to threaten ramifications for the protest.
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“If there is anything that is disrespectful to the flag then we will not play,” Jones said following the Cowboys’ loss to the Green Bay Packers. “You understand? If we are disrespecting the flag then we won’t play. Period.”
During his 22 minute press conference, Jones spent seven of it discussing why players should stand during the anthem and show respect to the flag and those who served under it.
“We’re going to respect the flag, and I’m going to create the perception of it. And we have,” the 74-year-old concluded. The Dallas Cowboys have been one of the few teams to not have players kneel.
However, one reporter told Jones that he saw two players putting their fists in the air after the anthem ended. Jones said he didn’t see that. When asked by reporters about it, the two players, defensive linemen Damontre’ Moore and David Irving, acknowledged that they do raise their fists following the anthem.
“It’s just something that I do,” Moore said. “I’ve got my morals, I’ve got my values on the things that I think about. I don’t want to bring unwarranted attention, but at the same time there are certain things people are doing it for.” It’s unclear if these two players will be disciplined.
Jones’ pro-American statement comes after Vice President Mike Pence left an NFL game after players kneeled during the anthem.
President Trump said on Twitter that he had asked the Vice President to leave if any players kneeled.
More players than ever have been kneeling in protest since Trump scolded the league and its players in a series of tweets. Many are now kneeling simply to spite the president.