According to reports, the NFL has told outspoken Dallas Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones to stay quiet about the issue of player protests during the national anthem.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that Jones had been scheduled for several television interviews, but warned the stations in advance that he would take no questions about the national anthem protests controversy, Sports Illustrated reported.
When last heard on the issue, Jones had announced that he would not allow any of his players to protest. “Our policy is you stand during the anthem, toe on the line,” Jones said.
But, Jones also noted that he hoped that the league could settle the issue so that President Donald Trump would stop focusing on the whole thing. “Everybody would like for it to go away,” he said of the controversy.
At least two of Jones’ players fully agreed with his boss. Last week, quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott said they had no problem with his decision to force players to stand for the nation’s song.
Prescott noted that he would never protest during the anthem.
“Whether I was wearing the star or not, whether I was playing for Jerry Jones, Stephen Jones or any other owner, I believe in what I believe in, and that’s that,” Prescott said.
The NFL passed a rule in May requiring players to stand on the sidelines or stay in the locker room if they don’t want to stand in respect for the anthem. The new rule also maintained that teams could be fined if players protested anyway and that teams could pass the fines on to the players.
But the rule was put on hold only weeks before the beginning of the upcoming 2018 season after the National Football Players Association filed a grievance to stop the implementation of the rule.
With the league and the players union still in talks over what to do about the contentious anthem protests, clearly, Jones has been told to keep quiet during these negotiations.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.