The owner of the Dallas Cowboys is speaking out against football players protesting the national anthem. Jerry Jones told the Dallas Morning News that any player that sits out from the anthem, or "takes the knee" will be suspended from play. “We’re going to respect the flag," he shared. “If we are disrespecting the flag, then we won’t play. Period. Period."
As the Washington Post reports, two Cowboys players, Damontre Moore and David Irving, raised their fists as the anthem played on Sunday. When told of that, Jones said, "we as a team are very much on the page together" and players and coaches will “under no circumstances” fail to “stand and recognize and honor the flag.”
The take the knee protests compelled Vice President Mike Pence to leave the 49ers-Colts game on Sunday in Indianapolis. President Donald Trump, a vocal opponent of taking the knee, applauded Pence for his move. "I asked @VP Pence to leave stadium if any players kneeled, disrespecting our country. I am proud of him and @SecondLady Karen," he tweeted.
The decision by Pence to attend the game (only to leave) was seen by critics as a publicity ploy to push Trump's opposition of the movement. CNN reports that the trip to and from Indianpolis cost approximately $242,500.
Athletes have been taking the knee during the national anthem following former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. He was protesting the anthem to bring light to the issue of police brutality in America and the systematic oppression of people of color. The protest has gone off the field with veterans, police officers and celebrities joining the movement.
The NFL Players Association has released a statement on Sunday that its members “are union members and part of the labor movement that has woven the fabric of America for generations." The Association shares: “It is a source of enormous pride that some of the best conversations about these issues have taken place in our locker rooms in a respectful, civil and thoughtful way that should serve as a model for how all of us can communicate with each other. We should not stifle these discussions and cannot allow our rights to become subservient to the very opinions our Constitution protects. That is what makes us the land of the free and home of the brave.”
[Photo: Getty Images]