Stephen Jones: Players to Stand for Anthem 'If They Want to Be a Dallas Cowboy'July 27, 2018
With the NFL's national anthem policy under review, Dallas Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones made it clear Thursday that his team won't tolerate protests during "The Star-Spangled Banner."
When asked if he believed Cowboys players would stand for the anthem in 2018 during an appearance on KTCK 96.7 FM (h/t Lorenzo Reyes of USA Today), Jones responded: "If they want to be a Dallas Cowboy, yes."
In May, the NFL put forth a policy in which teams would be fined if their players or personnel were deemed to be disrespecting the national anthem on the sidelines.
As part of the policy, players would be permitted to remain in the locker room during the anthem.
On July 19, the NFL Players Association announced that the policy would be temporarily suspended to allow for additional dialogue between the league and the NFLPA:
While Jones offered support for his players who want to take a stand against social injustice, he said they should focus on football on game days:
"We certainly are supportive of them when they have their personal issues or their personal things that they want to pursue. And we'll help them pursue them on Tuesdays. But when you're wearing the Dallas Cowboy uniform and a Dallas Cowboy helmet and you're working for the Dallas Cowboys, you check the 'I' and the 'me' at the door and you're a part of a team. There's bright lines in terms of our organization."
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones recently went public with similar sentiments, but he called President Donald Trump's continued interest in the anthem controversy "problematic," per ESPN.com's Todd Archer.
If the NFL moves forward with its previously announced policy, the Cowboys and other teams will be empowered to discipline players who do not stand for the anthem.