Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones told reporters Wednesday that his players would be required to stand on the sideline during the national anthem. He also indicated he’d prefer President Trump to stay out of the NFL’s anthem controversy.
Trump only paid attention to the first part of Jones’ comments.
On Friday morning, the president retweeted a quote from Jones — “Our policy is you stand for the anthem, toe on the line” — and commented: “Way to go Jerry. This is what the league should do!”
NFL team owners passed a rule in May that gave players the option of remaining in the locker room during the national anthem. Last week, the league and the players union announced a freeze on that rule while the two sides try to come to an agreement on the issue.
Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started a movement two seasons ago when he refused to stand during the national anthem as a protest against social injustice. Several other players followed his lead, taking a knee or a seat on the sideline.
The protests received new life last season when Trump started expressing his opposition to the practice. Jones said Wednesday that the president’s remarks weren’t helping the situation.
“His interest in what we’re doing is problematic,” Jones said of Trump. “Unprecedented, if you really think about it ... but like the very game itself, that’s the way it is. We feel very strongly about how we deal with it. Of course, I’d like, everybody would like, it to go away.”