Count President Donald Trump among those who are on board with Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones’ stance of benching players who “disrespect the flag” during the national anthem.
Trump tweeted praise toward Jones on Monday night.
“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!” Trump wrote on his Twitter handle, @realDonaldTrump.
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Jones created national headlines on Sunday night when he became the first NFL owner to publicly announce consequences to players who “disrespect the flag” during the national anthem.
No Cowboys players have kneeled during the anthem, although defensive linemen David Irving and Damontre Moore raised their fist after the anthem was played.
“If there is anything disrespecting the flag, then we will not play. Period,” Jones said. “We’re going to respect the flag and I’m going to create the perception of it.
“The main thing I want to do is make it real clear – there is no room here if it comes between looking non-supportive of our players and of each other or creating the impression that you’re disrespecting the flag, we will be non-supportive of each other. We will not disrespect the flag.”
The anthem protests were brought up after the game because vice president Mike Pence left the San Francisco 49ers-Indianapolis Colts game earlier Sunday because a handful of 49ers protested during the anthem.
This has been an ongoing issue since last season when former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeled during the anthem in a sign of protest against police brutality against people of color and racial injustice.
Trump made it a more prominent issue last month when he ripped NFL players for kneeling during the anthem, saying that is a reason why TV ratings have dipped.
Trump said any “sons of b------” who kneel during the anthem should be fired.
In a show of unity at the Cowboys-Cardinals game following those statements, the players and Jones kneeled before the anthem and then were arm-in-arm during the song.
Jones made it clear during a six-minute rant after Sunday’s game that the Cowboys organization would not tolerate any player “disrespecting the flag.”
“We are going to stand for the flag and we’ve done that,” Jones said. “We’ve kneeled in support of each other before the national anthem, and we’ve stood for the national anthem. We’ve always done that. There’s no equivocation. We’ll stand for the flag.”