Dallas Cowboy Executive Vice President Stephen Jones has laid down the law: Stand for the anthem, or play elsewhere.
Jones said during a Thursday radio interview on KTCK 97.5 that players should stand, “if they want to be a Dallas Cowboy.”
“We certainly are supportive of them when they have their personal issues or their personal things that they want to pursue,” Jones said. “And we’ll help them pursue them on Tuesdays. But when you’re wearing the Dallas Cowboy uniform and a Dallas Cowboy helmet and you’re working for the Dallas Cowboys, you check the ‘I’ and the ‘me’ at the door, and you’re a part of a team.”
This edict follows his father Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones’ comments on Wednesday, when he said, “As far as the Dallas Cowboys, you know where I stand, the team knows where I stand. Our policy is you stand during the anthem, toe on the line.”
So the Jones boys aren’t messing around anymore. If you want to protest during the national anthem go play for another team.
The union will likely protest this, but as a private company one might argue that Cowboys employees need to follow the rules set by their bosses. That’s the protocol followed at most private companies.
On Friday morning, President Donald J. Trump praised the Cowboys decision by his friend Jerry Jones.
“Way to go Jerry. This is what the league should do! Trump tweeted.
Some are quick to point out that Jerry Jones ripped Trump the other day, so maybe there are issues in that relationship.
“[Trump’s] interest in what we’re doing is problematic, from my chair, and I would say in general the owners’ chair,” Jones said.
“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.”
But it’s possible that Jones might have said that just to assuage the critics, because he clearly agrees with Trump’s position that players should stand for the anthem.
But more than anything else, Jerry Jones is a businessman with a lot of seats to fill in his massive 100,000 seat stadium in Arlington, in the red state of Texas.
Jerry Jones didn’t amass a net worth of $5.6 billion by making dumb business decisions.
Anthem protests have proven to be bad for NFL business with TV ratings and ticket sales taking a hit.
So Jones and his son have drawn a line in the sand.