Jerry Jones: President Trump's Interest In National Anthem Policy Is "Problematic" For NFL

Austin York
July 25, 2018 - 3:37 pm
Cowboys Camp

Ted Nichols-Payne

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OXNARD, California (KRLD/AP) - Cowboys owner Jerry Jones called President Trump's interest in the NFL's National Anthem policy "problematic and unprecedented" for owners. 

Critics led by President Donald Trump called the players unpatriotic and even said NFL owners should fire any player who refused to stand during the anthem. Some players countered that their actions were being misconstrued and that they are seeking social change rather than protesting the anthem itself.

Trump's criticism led more than 200 players to protest during one weekend, and some kept it up throughout the season.

Jones said Wednesday at the opening press conference at training camp that the Cowboys will be required to stand for the national anthem and will not stay in the locker room prior to the game. 

"Our policy is you stand for the anthem, toe on the line," Jones said. 

At the NFL's annual meetings in May, Roger Goodell said, "we want people to be respectful of the national anthem. We want people to stand."

"We've been very sensitive on making sure that we give players choices," the commissioner added, "but we do believe that moment is an important moment and one that we are going to focus on."

The league and a coalition of players have been working in tandem to support player initiatives for a variety of social issues. The NFL is committing $90 million over the next seven years to social justice causes in a three-segment plan that involves league players.

The NFL and National Football League Players Association have agreed to halt enforcement of rules regarding the league's new national anthem policy while the two sides work on a resolution.

The league and its players union issued a joint statement last week, hours after The Associated Press reported that Miami Dolphins players who protest on the field during the anthem could be suspended for up to four games under a team policy issued this week.

"The NFL and NFLPA, through recent discussions, have been working on a resolution to the anthem issue. In order to allow this constructive dialogue to continue, we have come to a standstill agreement on the NFLPA's grievance and on the NFL's anthem policy. No new rules relating to the anthem will be issued or enforced for the next several weeks while these confidential discussions are ongoing," the statement read.

Additionally, Jones says the team will continue its relationship with Papa John's Pizza, following founder John Schnatter's use of a racial slur on a call with a media agency. 

He says other teams simply don't have the business relationship the Cowboys have with the pizza chain.

"It's very unfortunate. Unfortunate for the company and unfortunate for John. I'm sure if you could do do-overs John would like a do-over. But the Cowboys own Papa John's in Texas. We own those stores. It's not an endorsement," he says.

"The point is: We just want to work real hard. We literally have thousands of people who work in those stores and several thousand customers who want to have the kind of taste in your mouth that you want to have when you have Papa John’s to use a phrase."

Jones owns a percentage of 50 Papa John's stores in North Texas, according to team COO Stephen Jones.