Jerry Jones calls Trump’s interest in national anthem issue ‘problematic’
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones on Wednesday knocked President Trump for his continued statements about NFL players’ protests during the national anthem, calling the issue of the president’s intervening in league issues “problematic.”
Jones said that Trump’s interference in NFL issues was “unprecedented” for a U.S. president, and added that most owners would simply like the issue to “go away,” according to ESPN.
“His interest in what we’re doing is problematic, from my chair, and I would say in general the owners’ chair,” Jones told reporters at a news conference at the team’s training camp in California. “It’s unprecedented, if you really think about it. But like the very game itself, that’s the way it is and we’ll deal with it.
“We feel strongly about how we deal with it and we’ll do so accordingly, but, yes, I, like everybody, would like for it to go away.”
Jones added that he would support and enforce the team’s own policy demanding players stand on the sidelines during the national anthem’s performance before games.
“Our policy is that you stand at the anthem, toe on the line,” he said.
Jones’s comments come after the president reignited the issue of anthem protests last week in a tweet aimed at the NFL’s commissioner, Roger Goodell, urging him to impose harsh penalties on players who continue protests against police brutality and racism by kneeling during the anthem at games.
“The NFL National Anthem Debate is alive and well again – can’t believe it! Isn’t it in contract that players must stand at attention, hand on heart? The $40,000,000 Commissioner must now make a stand. First time kneeling, out for game. Second time kneeling, out for season/no pay!” Trump wrote on Twitter.
The league and players have hit a standstill over the issue, as the NFL announced earlier this month that it would freeze its newly-implemented policy on standing during the anthem following an official challenge from the NFL players’ union.
“In order to allow this constructive dialogue to continue, we have come to a standstill agreement on the NFLPA’s grievance and on the NFL’s anthem policy,” a statement from the NFL read. “No new rules relating to the anthem will be issued or enforced for the next several weeks while these confidential discussions are ongoing.”
“The NFL and NFLPA reflect the great values of America, which are repeatedly demonstrated by the many players doing extraordinary work in communities across our country to promote equality, fairness and justice,” the statement continued. “Our shared focus will remain on finding a solution to the anthem issue through mutual, good faith commitments, outside of litigation.”