Jerry Jones evaded the question of whether he will change the Dallas Cowboys’ policy, which forces players to stand during the national anthem.
Still, the owner who has taken the strictest stance of all in the NFL against protests during the national anthem acknowledged that there is a shift in perception regarding racial equity protests, following the death of George Floyd a hands of the Minneapolis police.
Two years ago, Jones wouldn’t even have endorsed players choosing to stay in the locker room during the anthem. He then declared that the team’s policy is that the players must be on the field, “with their feet on the line.”
“That was then, this is now,” Jones said Wednesday. “These are sensible times. I have nothing to prove as to my position with the flag and where the Cowboys stand. I have nothing to prove in terms of my players and the support for the players ”.
Jones was the first owner to suggest he could suspend his players for kneeling during the anthem. It was in 2017, when the issue erupted after President Donald Trump’s comments, a year after Colin Kaepernick first knelt to draw attention to the issue of racial injustice.
Three years ago, when more athletes genuflected in response to Trump’s comment, Jones joined his players and coaches, linking arms and kneeling before the national anthem at a Monday night game in Arizona. They all stood up when the hymn sounded.
The Cowboys are in a similar situation right now. Star quarterback Dak Prescott said that “conversations are igniting” about what the team will do, after players and coaches have knelt during the national anthem in the other professional leagues, mainly in the NBA.
Prescott promised to donate a million dollars to police training after Floyd, a black man, was killed when a white police officer knelt on his neck for nearly eight minutes in May. The quarterback said he was “outraged and disturbed” by Floyd’s death.
Defensive tackles Dontari Poe and Gerald McCoy signed with Dallas as free agents and both questioned why Jones did not speak immediately after Floyd’s death and that Commissioner Roger Goodell himself admitted that the NFL erred by resisting the protests. peaceful of the players.
“I will show my kindness,” Jones said. “And I want to show that kind of gentleness on a sensitive subject. They are all genuine here. I’m giving everyone the benefit of the doubt in whatever decision I make. “
Jones’ tone seems to indicate that there will be more freedom compared to the “feet on the line” stance.