Trump Praises Dallas Cowboys Owner for Telling Players to Stand for Flag

Owner Jerry Jones told players to stand for and respect the flag or to sit on the bench
October 10, 2017 Updated: October 10, 2017

After weeks of escalating protests by NFL players during the national anthem, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones became the first NFL team owner to tell his team to stand for the flag or sit on the bench.

Jones said on Sunday that any player who does not stand during the national anthem and disrespects the flag won’t be allowed to play.

“If there is anything that is disrespectful to the flag, then we will not play,” Jones said, The Dallas Morning News reported.

“We’re going to respect the flag, and I’m going to create the perception of it. And we have,” he said.

Jones’s actions received praise from President Donald Trump who during a speech in Alabama on Sept. 22 first addressed the issue of kneeling NFL players.

He told the crowd at the rally in Huntsville, Alabama, “wouldn’t you love to see” one of the owners of an NFL club fire a player if he disrespects the flag. “He’s fired. He’s fired,” Trump said as the crowd started chanting “USA, USA.”

Trump said at the time that NFL owners who decide to do so will become “the most popular people in this country.”

Responding on Monday to Jones’ comments he said in a Tweet: “A big salute to Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys, who will BENCH players who disrespect our Flag. ‘Stand for Anthem or sit for game!'”

The form of protest started with San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick last year when he refused to stand for the national anthem. The action escalated following Trump’s comments when over a hundred players refused to stand for the anthem.

Vice President Mike Pence left an NFL game on Sunday after several players from the 49ers knelt during the national anthem.

“I left today’s Colts game because @POTUS and I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem,” Pence posted to his Twitter account.

Jones said, “Our vice president, if in his opinion, there’s disrespect of the flag then he should express himself however he wants to say. He’s got rights, too. He felt that not standing for the flag is disrespectful. I do, too.”

Trump also called the NFL out in a tweet on Tuesday for “getting massive tax breaks while at the same time disrespecting our Anthem.”

An article published by puts the total amount of tax money the NFL received in subsidies for stadiums over the past 20 years at $7 billion.