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(AP Photo/Gus Ruelas)

OXNARD, Calif. (AP) — Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones doubled down Wednesday on insisting that his players stand for the national anthem, declaring that he wouldn’t support anyone who chose to stay in the locker room.

Speaking at his annual news conference to open training camp in California, the outspoken billionaire became the first owner to say publicly that his players would not be allowed to stay off the field during the anthem.

“No,” Jones said when asked if he would support players staying in the locker room. “Our policy is that you stand at the anthem, toe on the line.”

Last week, the NFL and the players’ union agreed to suspend the rule approved by owners this spring that gave players the option of staying in the locker room while allowing teams to discipline players who took a knee or sat during the anthem.

The decision to begin negotiating on the issue came hours after The Associated Press reported that Miami Dolphins players who protested during the anthem could be suspended for up to four games under team policy.

Last season, Jones was the first owner to declare that he would bench a player for protesting during the anthem. Two of his players — defensive linemen David Irving and Damontre Moore — raised their fists briefly as “The Star Spangled Banner” ended but weren’t disciplined.

“I obviously wouldn’t dare speak for any of the other owners, much less in general about 31 other owners,” Jones said. “As far as the Dallas Cowboys are concerned, you know where I stand. Our team knows where I stand on the issue.”

The issue erupted in 2016 when then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began protesting police brutality, social injustice and racial inequality by kneeling during the national anthem. The demonstration spread to other players and teams.

The NFL started requiring players to be on the field for the anthem in 2009, the year it signed a marketing deal with the military. Jones had already owned the Cowboys for 20 years when players moved from the locker room to the field for the anthem.

Jones said he understood the point of view of players who say they aren’t protesting the flag or the military.

“This is a case where we need to in my mind check that and be real clear that it is, the priority is about the flag, and be real clear about that,” Jones said. “Sometimes it’s best to just be real clear and succinct so that nobody misunderstands. I think that’s our case.”

Executive vice president Stephen Jones said the Cowboys don’t have an anthem issue because his father has made his stance clear from the beginning.

“I do understand when you see the back and forth,” Stephen Jones said. “But we’ve been consistent and we’ve never moved. Jerry’s never changed his stance once. I think he feels strongly about it.”

The younger Jones didn’t want to speak for the players when asked if Jerry Jones’ strong message is the reason none of his players have defied him.

“I was always brought up when you work for somebody and they’re the boss, you play by their rules,” Stephen Jones said.

Jones, who drew praise from President Donald Trump when he said last year that he would bench players, said Trump’s continuing involvement in the anthem issue is “problematic” for the league.

Trump weighed in again after news of the Dolphins’ policy broke, tweeting “The $40,000,000 Commissioner must now make a stand,” a reference to Roger Goodell.

“His interest in what we’re doing is problematic from my chair and I would say, in general, in the owner’s chairs,” Jerry Jones said. “And unprecedented if you really think about it. But like the very game itself, that’s the way it is and we’ll deal with it. But, yes, everybody would like for it to go away.”

Unlike other sports organizations, the Cowboys haven’t distanced themselves from Papa John’s after founder and CEO John Schnatter was ousted over a racial slur.

Schnatter was already under fire for suggesting last year that the pizza company’s sluggish sales were a result of the controversy surrounding the anthem.

Jerry Jones, who has had a close relationship with Schnatter, said the Cowboys couldn’t cut ties with the company because of an ownership stake in Papa John’s stores. Stephen Jones said the team was linked to 50 stores in the Dallas area.

“I regret that for John,” Jerry Jones said. “But at the end of the day we’ve got too many people, too many customers, too many people that we just need to do as good as we can do under the circumstances.”

NOTES: DE David Irving was placed on the “did not report” list after getting clearance from the Cowboys to deal with personal issues. Jerry Jones said he didn’t expect Irving to attend camp for the three weeks the Cowboys are in California. … DT Maliek Collins (foot) was placed on the physically unable to perform list, while S Kavon Frazier and DE Randy Gregory are on the non-football injury list. Gregory was recently reinstated from a yearlong ban for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy.



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20 thoughts on “Jerry Jones: Cowboys Have To Stand For the Anthem

  1. Chago Wilson on said:

    Tell Jerry Jones to “require” law enforcement agencies to abide by the LAW and cease this practice of serving as judge, jury & executioner for the Black community! The issue has NEVER been about the anthem. Additionally, the epitome of disrespect to the anthem, the flag, the constitution, the office, all military personnel & veterans and every citizen is the current resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue!

  2. Gary on said:

    Are you serious you tell me where the law is that states you must stand for a flag!! I tell you read Daniel chapter 3 Trump is trying to force people to worship an image

    • There’s no law that says you have to abide by any rule set forth by a business owner. Any business owner has the right to decide how he/she wants their business to be run. If you don’t like the rules, then don’t work for that company. Why does everything have to be so complicated? If the players don’t like the idea of having to stand for the anthem, then go get jobs where it’s not required. What’s so damned hard about that? I guarantee there will be no shortage of players willing to step in.

  3. Justbeingme on said:

    Shut them down if all of the black teammates kneel and all of the black people boycott the NFL they will loose money hit them in their pockets all teams should do it. He probably wouldn’t have cared if that orange idiot in the orange house didn’t open his ignorant mouth. Just like when you have a union and you go on strike. Just because you’re the boss doesn’t mean you’re always right.

  4. americanize on said:

    This is why as a group,we have to create a economic base for and by black people,this is what happens when you depend on others for ur well being.The people in the dominate society really don’t have any use for black people,they already have a new labor force I don’t have to say who it is.Black people or now just for entertainment and occasional gutter sex. Black America you have no friends.

  5. Every player that agrees that they have the constitutional right to protest the atrocities that are going on in this country should either stay in the locker room during the anthem or come out and take a knee. Not only with the Cowboys but with every NFL team. Suspend them, sure – – when and for how long?!! Shut the damn NFL down…….one game – believe you me, is all it will take. You want to talk about a true athletic hero – – just look to Mohammad Ali. What he did took courage and fortitude….characteristics that seem to be lacking in today’s society.

    • You know why, because they’ve bought into this living the “Great American Dream” bullshit. Everyone is trying to live above their income. Not having anything to fall back on in the bank, should something arises, that won’t let you trade your dignity, and beliefs, for a paycheck. As I recalled Muhammad Ali took on all types of jobs, when they banned him from fighting. Because, he felt so strongly about his cause for not going into service. These guys now, are only about glitz and glamour. No courage, dedication to anyone, cause they have bills to pay.

  6. E-DOG on said:

    Jerry Jones will not FIRE all black athletes if they stick together ,,We need a Muhamed Ali moment…if all black Cowboys sat down or took a knee ,what can he do ? NOTHING !!! Challege him ..but they must ALL do it …

    • Passing Through!! on said:

      True if ALL black players take a knee together I guarantee you they won’t suspend ALL of them because they won’t have a team.

      • RIGHT!!! Try this stance in college football, as the majority of players seem to be white…however for the NFL…they are almost ALL African American…let’s see how that plays out for them…nobody will be playing against any team…as they will all be fired/benched, whatever.

  7. African American Woman on said:

    Hmmmmm…go play for another team…unfortunately, when you work for someone else, you have to play by their rules…

    • Last season I boycotted NFL football, because I stood with CK, he still hasn’t been signed to team. The war on black men, women and children is raging more than ever, and these Klansmen are demanding these guys abandon a cause that not only violates their 1st amendment rights, but aligned with a racist agenda for a fool like Triumph? Season 2 for me, will be so easy to sit out. Y’all should do the same.

  8. tedgravely on said:

    I suggest reading a truly thought provoking opinion piece written by Montel Williams. Mr. Williams, a 22-year Marine Corps and Navy veteran who served primarily as a special duty intelligence officer, went on to star on the Emmy-award-winning Montel Williams Show that ran for 17 seasons. Here is a snippet of his opinion released, SEP 2017:
    One of the many things President Trump doesn’t appear to understand is that what separates our republic from North Korea is that our Constitution forbids forced displays of patriotism. No one can seriously be surprised that yet again, he’s yelled “fire” to please a crowded theater full of his ill-informed, almost entirely white devotees. Trump’s “presidency” has already failed spectacularly, and it is predictable that he’s picking a fight with black professional athletes. He knows that as long as he plays to “white grievance,” his supporters will ignore the fact he’s accomplished nothing for them.

    • Trump has never read the constitution, therefore he doesn’t understand it. But he’s great st bring a corrupt/ adulterer.

    • Passing Through!! on said:

      @TED….He knows that as long as he plays to “white grievance,” his supporters will ignore the fact he’s accomplished nothing for them
      AMEN!…..As long as you entertain low iq racist with visons of sugar plumbs, banning, building walls, deporting and taking the country back to 1950 they will be distracted away from the fact that you’re failing. Only unevolved racist, imbeciles who are incapable of adapting, learning or moving forward in life would want to live stuck in time.

      • Come November he will be a lame duck fake prez. He won’t get shit done for the nxt two years. VOTE PEOPLE , VOTE!!!! Stop this idiot from ruining this country more with his divisiveness.

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