Several players and even an entire team reportedly planned to join the national anthem protest started by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Some Dallas Cowboys players reportedly planned to sit down or take a knee, but team owner Jerry Jones allegedly asked them to stand even it is against their will.
Rumors about Jones’ move to prevent players from launching a protest started when a Facebook user posted an alleged incident inside the locker room. The alleged incident happened before Dallas took on the New York Giants on Sunday. According to the post, Jones sent a strong message to his players before the match.
“You gentlemen are world class athletes, but you are also actors,” Jones was quoted as saying by Facebook user Richie Newberry. “You perform on a stage that is 100 yards long. Today, you play the role of a patriotic super hero. You will play this role well because you know that millions of children will be watching and looking at your example.”
The purported statement from Jones reportedly forced players to forego their plan to join Kaepernick’s protest. But did Jones really talk to his players about this?
It is still worth noting, though, that Jones praised his players for respecting the national anthem. His statement was viewed as a direct jab to players like Kaepernick, who opted not to stand or take a knee to protest racial inequality in the United States.
“We strongly, strongly support the flag in every way we support — and it’s almost ridiculous to be saying it — the people who for generations and generations have given it all up so that we can get out here and show off in front of millions of people on television,” Jones said, ESPN reported.