FRISCO, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – During the Dallas Cowboys’ press conference to open this year’s training camp, owner Jerry Jones was asked about his stance on kneeling during the National Anthem this season amid a time of protests against social and racial injustices.
He responded by repeating a word that summed up his current thought process — “grace.”
Wednesday was the first time Jones has spoken to media since April. During the time in between, there have been renewed efforts in fighting against injustices following the recent deaths of people like George Floyd and Breonna Taylor at the hands of police.
The topic of kneeling during the National Anthem is currently prevalent in professional sports, and many are looking at how the NFL will handle kneeling when its season begins in September.
Jones made it apparent that no decision has been made on whether he will allow players to kneel during the anthem. But he made it clear his stance hasn’t changed since the last time kneeling was the talk of the league. In 2018, Jones said the policy for the team was that players must stand for the flag, “toe on the line.”
However, the Cowboys owner on Wednesday also made it clear that he taking his support for the players into account on making a decision.
“I have nothing to prove as far as where I’m standing with the flag and where the Cowboys stand. I have nothing to prove regarding my players and my support of our players. What I do want to show and want us all to be a part of is a word called grace. Not only grace in our actions but grace in our understanding where they’re coming from,” he said.
Jones continued to emphasize that he would show grace when it comes to understanding the players and how he will treat kneeling this season.
“My job is to run the Dallas Cowboys. My job is to do what’s right. We’ve asked for all of this interest. And we’ve asked for our players to give everything they’ve got. And I want to sit down when I have an issue and I have a decision to make, I want to show the world that I can do it with grace and come up with the right solution,” Jones said. “I don’t know what we’re gonna be faced with here a month from now or two months from now. When it happens, I’m giving you the backdrop of how I’ll make the decision at the time or encourage our players.”
During his comments, Jones also praised quarterback Dak Precott for the letter he sent to Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt that called for the release of a Black man who was convicted of murder in 2002 and is on death row.
“I’m so proud of Dak the other day he made a plea to the governor of Oklahoma. Those are the active aspects… to address and help the issue of social justice. So proud for the Dallas Cowboys and proud of Dak for taking that stance,” Jones said. “… Those are areas of doing something about it.”
With no specifics, so far, on how Jones will handle kneeling, the Cowboys will be moving forward with training camp in hopes of being able to play their full schedule during the COVID-19 pandemic — and during times of social unrest.
“I am listening… We will do it in a way that we think is as sensitive and has as much grace for the genuine feelings of everybody in mind,” Jones said.