Sports | October 9, 2017 9:16 am

Dallas Cowboys Owner Says He Will Bench Any Player Who Disrespects the Flag

Jerry Jones made the statement after the Cowboys' loss to Green Bay on Sunday.

Dallas Cowboys Jerry Jones owner says player who kneel during anthem won't play.
Members of the Dallas Cowboys link arms before the National Anthem at the start of the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on September 25, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones said that his players will stand for the national anthem or they will not play, reports ESPNAfter the Cowboys’ 35-31 loss to the Green Bay Packers, Jones said “if we are disrespecting the flag, then we will not play. Period.”

The topic was brought up after Vice President Mike Pence walked out of Sunday’s game between the Indianapolis Colts and San Francisco 49ers after more than 20 players from the 49ers knelt during the national anthem, as was the case the previous week, according to ESPN. 

Pence tweeted a statement saying he would not “dignify any event that disrespects soldiers, the flag or the anthem” reports ESPN. 

Previously, at the Cowboys’ Sept. 25 meeting with the Arizona Cardinals, Jones, his sons Stephen and Jerry Jr., and daughter Charlotte Anderson joined the Cowboys’ players, coaches and staff on the field in taking a knee and locking arms before the anthem, writes ESPN. Then, during the anthem, Jones remained arm-in-arm with the players.

This was in response to President Donald Trump’s comments that any NFL player who disrespects the flag by not standing during the anthem should be fired.

According to ESPN, Cowboys defensive ends Damontre Moore and David Irving raised their fists at the end of the anthem before Sunday’s game, but Jones was unaware of this when asked after the game.

“We as a team are very much on the page together,” Jones said, according to ESPN. “We made our expression. I’m very supportive of the team, but under no circumstances will the Dallas Cowboys — I don’t care what happens — under no circumstances will we as an organization, coaches, players, not support and stand and recognize and honor the flag. Period.”

George Atallah, assistant executive director of external affairs at the NFL Players Association, tweeted a statement from the union about players’ constitutional rights on Sunday night, reports ESPN. 

Jones is one of seven NFL owners who donated to Trump’s inaugural committee, according to ESPN. He spoke to the president after the Cowboys played the Cardinals. According to Jones, Trump said that this all could have been avoided if the NFL enforced a rule stating players must stand for the anthem. However, according to ESPN, that is not a requirement included in the NFL’s operations manual.