Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said his team's players must stand for the national anthem but also called Trump’s interest in the anthem controversy “problematic” during a news conference Wednesday in Oxnard, California, where the team trains.
“Our policy is that you stand at the anthem, toe on the line,” Jones said in response to a question about whether players would be allowed to stay in the locker room during the anthem, NFL.com reported.
After approving a new rule at the Spring League meeting imposing fines on teams whose players don’t stand for the anthem or stay in the locker room, the NFL and NFL Players Association agreed to freeze the implementation of that rule for a few weeks while the issue is discussed between the league and the union.
The NFL and NFLPA as well as several active players are scheduled to meet for a discussion Friday.
Jones also said he found Trump’s insertion into the debate about anthem protests “problematic, The Washington Post reported.
“It’s unprecedented, if you really think about it,” Jones said, the Post reported. “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,” he added.
Player protests during the national anthem were intended to increase awareness of police brutality and social injustice, according to those who protested, but Trump’s administration and others said it was disrespectful toward military members. Trump has tweeted about the controversy several times over the summer, most recently saying he thought the rule should be ejection from the game for kneeling during the anthem for the first time, and for the second time, a season-long suspension with no pay.
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