Sports | May 30, 2018 12:08 pm

Report: Pressure From Trump Led NFL to Introduce Controversial Anthem Policy

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones discused Trump's influence while testifying in the Kaepernick case.

Jerry Jones
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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Testimony from Cowboys owner Jerry Jones indicated the specter of President Donald Trump continuing to rip the league in tweets and in speeches led the NFL to create the new national anthem policy it introduced last week.

While testifying in the Colin Kaepernick collusion grievance, Jones hinted past criticism from Trump prompted the league to address the anthem issue even though mainstream talk about it had largely faded away.

“This is a very winning, strong issue for me,”  Trump told Jones in a phone call, according to a sworn deposition that was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. “Tell everybody, you can’t win this one. This one lifts me.”

A White House official did not dispute that account and said Trump was giving Jones good advice. “The majority of the American people agree with the president, love our country, love our flag and believe it should be respected,” the official said.

During an NFL owners meeting, Jones relayed what the president had said, prompting others, including Patriots owner Robert Kraft, to speak about the president and his past comments.

Those discussions – during which President Trump’s name came up at least three times – ultimately led to the NFL instituting its new anthem policy.