Trump praises Cowboys owner for threat to bench players who kneel during anthem

Trump praises Cowboys owner for threat to bench players who kneel during anthem
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President Trump praised Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones Monday night for threatening to bench players who kneel during the national anthem.

Jones said Sunday night that Cowboys players wouldn’t be allowed to play if they are “disrespectful to the flag," echoing a White House talking point.

"If there is anything that is disrespectful to the flag then we will not play," Jones said, according to the Dallas Morning News.

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"You understand? If we are disrespecting the flag then we won't play. Period," he continued.

"We're going to respect the flag, and I'm going to create the perception of it. And we have."

Trump's tweet came hours after ESPN host Jemele Hill, who last month referred to him as a "white supremacist," was suspended for her own comments about the Cowboys, in which she suggested a boycott of their advertisers over Jones's stance.

The White House in September called for Hill to be fired after she referred to the president as a "bigot." 

Vice President Pence left Sunday’s game between the Indianapolis Colts and the San Francisco 49ers after several 49ers knelt during "The Star-Spangled Banner."

Afterwards, Pence tweeted that he wouldn’t “dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag or our National Anthem.”

Trump attacked NFL players who kneel during the national anthem at a rally in Alabama last month, calling on team owners to fire players for kneeling and saying any player that does is a “son of a bitch.”

His administration has stuck with the issue ever since, despite objections from coaches and players that they mean no disrespect and are trying to peacefully protest police brutality and racial inequality.

“Our men and their families are also conscientious Americans who continue to be forces for good through our communities and some have decided to use their platform to peacefully raise awareness to issues that deserve attention,” read a statement released by the NFL Players Association on Monday.

“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,” the statement added.

“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.”