Jerry Jones Says 'There's No Question' NFL Has Been Damaged by Anthem Protests

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistOctober 22, 2017

SANTA CLARA, CA - OCTOBER 22:  Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones stands on the field prior to their NFL game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium on October 22, 2017 in Santa Clara, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones went on the record to assert the wave of protests during the national anthem has come at a cost to the NFL.

"There is no question," Jones said when asked if the protests are hurting the league, per the Dallas Morning News' Brandon George. "There is no question the league is suffering negative effects from these protests."

Prior to the Cowboys' 28-17 win over the Arizona Cardinals on Sept. 25, Jones joined Cowboys players in a show of unity, with those involved taking a knee and standing with locked arms during the national anthem.

Jones hasn't shied away from critiquing the overall movement, though, going so far as to say he'd bench any player who didn't stand for the national anthem.

Earlier this week, the NFL held its fall meeting. The league released a joint statement with the NFL Players Association on Tuesday saying the two parties had a "productive meeting focused on how we can work together to promote positive social change and address inequality in our communities."

League owners met Wednesday, and CBSSports.com' Jason La Canfora reported that Jones "was the only owner to rail against the handful of players who are still regularly kneeling, standing or staying in the locker room during the playing of the anthem."

One anonymous executive said Jones had argued the NFL should alter its current rule regarding the anthem to mandate players stand for "The Star-Spangled Banner" or face penalties from the league.