Jerry Jones is taking a hard line on protests during the national anthem.
The Dallas Cowboys owner indicated after a 35-31 loss to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday that anyone from his team who participated in such a demonstration would not be allowed to play.
"If there is anything disrespecting the flag, then we will not play. Period," Jones said, according to the Dallas Morning News. "We're going to respect the flag, and I'm going to create the perception of it."
Cowboys defensive linemen Damontre Moore and David Irving said they held up a fist Sunday at the end of The Star-Spangled Banner. Moore said he had been doing the same thing since Week 3, when he return from a suspension.
“It’s just something that I do,” Moore said, according to Pro Football Talk. “I’ve got my morals. I’ve got my values and my things that I think about. I don’t want to cause no attention to nobody else and bring unwanted attention, but on the same token, you know, there’s certain things that people are doing it for. So, for me, it’s just one of those personal things that I do.”
The Cowboys never issued a formal statement about the protests during Week 3, the first group of NFL games to be played after President Donald Trump's outburst about the NFL and its players. However, Jones took a knee with his club prior to the playing of the anthem before their Sept. 25 matchup against the Arizona Cardinals. Jones and the Cowboys did rise for the anthem's rendition that night.
"We cannot in anyway give the implication that we tolerate disrespecting the flag," Jones said, according to the Morning News. "We know that there is a serious debate in this country about those issues, but there is no question in my mind, that the (NFL) and the Dallas Cowboys are going to stand up for the flag."
Earlier on Sunday, Vice President Mike Pence left the Indianapolis Colts' game after 23 San Francisco 49ers players chose to kneel during the anthem. Pence wrote he "will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem."
On Sunday night, the NFL Players Association said that discussions on social issues should not be stifled. Assistant executive director of external affairs George Atallah later wrote the union's statement was originally written in response to Pence.
NFL players are union members and part of the labor movement that has woven the fabric of America for generations. Our full statement: pic.twitter.com/FMOXvz3G7h— NFLPA (@NFLPA) October 9, 2017
Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross also weighed in Sunday.
“He’s changed that whole paradigm of what protest is,” Ross said of Trump prior to his team’s home opener, via the (South Florida) Sun-Sentinel.
“And I think it’s incumbent upon the players today, because of how the public is looking at it, to really stand and really salute the flag."
Follow Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz on Twitter @MikeMSchwartz.
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