WASHINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – Dallas Cowboys training camp started this week in Oxnard, and team owner Jerry Jones quickly caught the attention of President Donald Trump. During a news conference on Wednesday, Jones was clear about his thoughts regarding national anthem protests.
“Our policy is you stand for the anthem, toe on the line,” Jones said.
Trump took to Twitter on Friday morning to praise Jones for his cut-and-dry stance on the issue. “Way to go Jerry,” Trump tweeted. “This is what the league should do!” Jones was the first NFL owner to publicly state that his players would not be permitted to protest.
The NFL approved a new policy back in May that requires all players to stand for the national anthem. However, it does not require that all players be on the field for the national anthem, giving them the option to instead remain in the locker rooms until game time.
Players around the league have been kneeling during the anthem as a form of protest — not against the anthem itself, but against racial oppression and police brutality. Trump often brings attention to the player protests, attacking players and the league for the perceived act of disrespect.
The Cowboys have taken part in a form of protest before, though. Before a game back in September 2017, the team ‘took a knee’ before the national anthem, in what they called a prayer for equality and unity. Jones even knelt with the players. But the act was purposely not done during the anthem iteself.
While the President complimented Jones for his team’s anthem policy, Trump did not mention another comment that Jones said on Wednesday. Jones stated that Trump’s focus on the subject makes it more difficult for teams and players to reach an agreement. “His interest in what we are doing is problematic,” Jones said.
“Unprecedented, if you think about it,” Jones added. “Everyone would like for it to go away.”