Not everyone has been a fan of President Trump taking such a large interest in the NFL’s ongoing controversy surrounding the national anthem protests. However, Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones says, he “appreciates the interest.”
Jones told CNN, “I certainly think that the thing he is addressing is certainly a part of how we want to make our game better.
“There’s no question that because of our visibility, our substantiveness, that we are looked to for social responsibility as well. This is all part of what I’ve been talking about with the commissioner, and certainly I appreciate not only the president, but I want everybody to be a fan of the Dallas Cowboys. I just appreciate the interest.”
The NFL has experienced a rash of anthem protests beginning in the preseason of 2016, and continuing all the way up until Week 11 of this year. The protests, begun by former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, have tapered off greatly in the last two months.
The demonstrations hit an all-time high in Week 3, after President Trump called protesting players “SOB’s,” and said he wished their team owners would fire them. That weekend, over 300 NFL players protested in some form or fashion. However, during Week 11, only about a dozen players protested during the anthem.
Jones has been by far the most publicly critical owner of the protests, saying back in early October, that if a player on his team didn’t respect the anthem, that player wouldn’t play. Since then, Papa John’s, the official pizza of the NFL has also voiced concerns over how the protests have negatively impacted their business.
Yet, despite all this, Roger Goodell has steadfastly maintained that he will not order NFL players to stand for the anthem. Though, some eyebrows were raised last week when the Washington Post reported that the league would consider a new rule at the end of the year that would keep teams in the locker room during the anthem.
Prior to 2009, NFL teams used to remain in the locker room during the anthem at every game. That only changed after a CBA rule change was added, which required players to be on the sideline for the playing of the national anthem.