Defying N.F.L., Jerry Jones Says Players Must Stand for Anthem

Defying N.F.L., Jerry Jones Says Players Must Stand for Anthem


The Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, no stranger to speaking his mind and creating controversy, on Wednesday added fuel to an already confusing and rancorous debate about how the N.F.L. plans to handle players who demonstrate during the playing of the national anthem this season.

At the opening of the Cowboys’ training camp in Oxnard, Calif., Jones said that all his team’s players would be required to stand on the field for the playing of the The Star-Spangled Banner. They would not be able to stay in the team’s locker room, something allowed under the league’s revised policy on the anthem.

“Our policy is you stand during the anthem, toe the line,” Jones told reporters.

Jones added that President Trump’s tweets criticizing the league’s handling of the players who protest had been “problematic” for the N.F.L.

Jones’s comments came as the league and N.F.L. Players Association continue to discuss how to revise the anthem policy yet again.

In May, the owners unilaterally said that players would be obligated to stand on the field for the national anthem but would have the option of staying indoors. The league reserved the right to fine teams whose players protest on the field during the anthem, while the teams, in turn, can penalize those players.

Previously, players were obligated to be on the field during the anthem, but only encouraged, not forced, to stand while the song was being played.

The new rules effectively allow each team to treat the anthem policy as it sees fit. Chris Johnson, chief executive of the Jets, said he would not penalize players who protested. San Francisco 49ers Coach Kyle Shanahan said essentially the same thing.

Among the 32 owners, Jones has been the loudest proponent of forcing all players to stand for the anthem, and his comments Wednesday were the clearest suggestion yet that he intends to penalize players who do not follow his policy.

Officials with the N.F.L. had no comment on Jones’s remarks. George Atallah, chief spokesman for the players’ union, declined to comment.

Jones’s remarks complicate the already thorny negotiations between the league and union. Earlier this month, the union filed a grievance, saying the league violated the collective bargaining agreement when it unilaterally imposed a new anthem policy.

The two sides are now trying to find a way to amend the policy so that the league can win the backing of the union. The league said last week it would suspend the new policy for a few weeks while it tries to work things out with the union.

At the same time, the league is fighting grievances filed by quarterback Colin Kaepernick and safety Eric Reid. Both players took a knee during the anthem while playing for the San Francisco 49ers, and both have accused the league and its 32 teams of blackballing them. The players are free agents, and remain unsigned.





Source link

About The Author

Related posts

Leave a Reply