Jerry Jones made one thing clear on Sunday. Stand for the anthem or kneel, and sit out the game. As it could be expected, this decision came to be appreciated by the US president Donald Trump. The POTUS tweeted: “A big salute to Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys, who will Bench players who disrespect our Flag. Stand for the Anthem or sit for the game!”
After the game, on Monday, Jones mad himself even clearer. Dallas Cowboys owner said that any player that disrespects the flag needs to face the consequences. Chris Mortensen of ESPN talked with Jones, and he was quoting him: “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. And if they want to notify the team before the game, hey I’m not going to do this, they can make them inactive. No exceptions -he started naming Dak Prescott, Zeke Elliott. No exceptions, he said, there are no exceptions.”
A big salute to Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys, who will BENCH players who disrespect our Flag.”Stand for Anthem or sit for game!”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 10, 2017
You can tell that Jones is facing this issue with seriousness. He even quoted NFL Game Operations Manual which suggests as to how should players act on the sidelines during anthem intonations. In the picture below you can see what manual says about the matter.
— Kevin Seifert (@SeifertESPN) October 9, 2017
This is where Jerry Jones mentioned Donald Trump: “You know who reminded me about the game ops policy? Donald Trump.”
The league has its stance on the matter, saying that the manual is a policy and not a rule. They concluded that NFL wouldn’t punish any player or team over anthem and flag protests.
Jones made his remarks hours after vice-president Mike Pence left the Indianapolis Colts vs. San Francisco 49ers game after some of the 49ers players kneeled during the anthem. The Jones is the first owner to make such a strong statements after president Trump started the debate.
Cowboys owner added: “I know this, we cannot … in the NFL in any way give the implication that we tolerate disrespecting the flag. We know that there is a serious debate in this country about those issues, but there is no question in my mind that the National Football League and the Dallas Cowboys are going to stand up for the flag. So we’re clear.”
When asked whether his comments are going to affect the team’s unity he said: “There is no room here if it comes between looking 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. We will not disrespect the flag.”
Next question was related to two of his players raising a fist after the anthem Jerry Jones said: “I don’t know about that, but if there’s anything that is disrespectful to the flag, then we will not play. OK? Understand? If we are disrespecting the flag, then we won’t play. Period.”
After Jones, Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross also said that he changed his view on the anthem protests and that he now wants for his players to stand during the national anthem, and to respect the flag.