WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- The National Football League’s new policy requires players on the field to stand for the national anthem or to remain in the locker room if they prefer.
- Dallas Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones announced that whoever kneels during the national anthem will be out of a job.
- President Donald Trump, who called for team owners to fire players who protest during the anthem, praised the Cowboys’ owner.
The NFL announced in May that players would face fines if they kneel during the national anthem but gave them the option of remaining in the locker room while the anthem is being played. The outspoken Dallas Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones is not giving his players an option.
“Our policy is that you stand at the anthem, toe on the line,” the billionaire said last week.
On Friday, Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott said the policy has “no effect” on him.
“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.
“It’s not about taking a knee, it’s not necessarily about standing,” he continued. “I’m very aware of the social injustice that we have going on. But I’m about the action that we can do, rather than the silent protests.”
Prescott and at least a half-dozen Cowboys players declared support to the new policy.
“Not to knock anyone who may want to kneel during the national anthem,” Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott said on Friday. “We’re the Dallas football Cowboys. America’s Team. We stand for the national anthem.”
There doesn’t seem to be a single Cowboys player willing to join the anthem protest movement. It’s possible the star players, especially Prescott and Elliott, “don’t want to rock the boat as the lure of collecting mega-millions from Jerry looms.”
“We have to do what we’re told,” Cowboys cornerback Jourdan Lewis said. “You have a job to do first. It’s definitely a team-first thing. I don’t want to cause any distractions. If anything, I’ll do my political things away from the field.”
Cowboys’ linebacker Jaylon Smith, who had a career-threatening knee injury in 2016, was rescued by Jones in the second round that year.
“Honestly, I’m blessed to be playing for America’s Team,” Smith told USA TODAY Sports. “So whatever the guys decide, we’re going to stick with it. I’m about unity.”
And as for Prescott, he said he never protests during the anthem.
“I don’t think that’s the time or the venue to do so,” he said. “The game of football has always brought me such a peace, and I think it does for a lot of people watching the game.
“So when you bring such controversy to the stadium, to the field, it takes away from the love that football brings to a lot of people,” Prescott added.
Source: USA Today