The discussion regarding players protesting during the national anthem continues, with Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones issuing a warning to his players following the team’s loss to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. When asked about the protests, Jones said that any Cowboys player “disrespecting the flag” would not be allowed to play. Jones stated that taking a knee during the anthem is showing “disrespect” for the flag in his opinion.
Jerry Jones asked about Cowboys players raising fists after the national anthem: pic.twitter.com/9TaQPpthmo
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) October 9, 2017
These protests began during the 2016 preseason, with former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick sitting — and ultimately deciding to take a knee after a conversation with Green Beret and former football players Nate Boyer — to bring attention to issues such as systemic oppression, racism and police brutality.
Others have joined in with athletes in other sports, most notably the WNBA and NBA, making their voices heard with regards to these matters as well. Multiple athletes, including Kaepernick and former teammate Eric Reid, have stated on numerous occasions that the demonstrations are not meant as disrespect for the military, flag or anthem. But those assertions have not kept some from reacting negatively to the demonstrations.
Players and teams across the NFL made symbolic gestures two weekends ago in the aftermath of comments made by President Donald Trump during a political rally in Huntsville, Alabama. Multiple teams made symbolic gestures of “unity,” standing with their arms interlocked during the anthem while three (Seahawks, Steelers and Titans) made the decision to remain in the locker room during the anthem.
The Cowboys collectively took a knee before the national anthem prior to their game against the Arizona Cardinals, with Jerry Jones joining the players and coaches. The team then stood with their arms interlocked for the anthem.