Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Tuesday that he wants to find a compromise with his players regarding protests during the national anthem this season and would prefer to implement a policy in which the team kneels before but not during the playing of the national anthem.
In an interview with 105.3 The Fan, Jones said that he would like to put in place a policy similar to what the team did before a 2017 game in Arizona when the Cowboys knelt in unison before standing during the anthem.
“That’s fair. That, at the end of the day, was a recognition that we supported our players,” said Jones. “I knelt with our players, as you know, on a personal basis. But as a team, we all knelt together before the anthem and then we stood for the anthem to recognize what its symbol is to America. I thought that was good. That’s the kind of thing we’ll be looking to see if we can implement.”
Jones’ comments came two weeks after he told reporters he expects the Cowboys to display “grace” regarding the anthem.
Defensive tackle Dontari Poe, who signed with the team in free agency, said over the weekend that he plans to kneel during the anthem and intends to discuss the matter with Jones.
“I will have visited with him more than likely on an individual basis,” Jones said Tuesday. “All of that will come to play, and we’ll have a plan to recognize what he’s trying to do and the way he’s trying to do it. And on the other hand be sensitive to what we’re about. We’re out there to ask the fans to follow, to be attentive to us. We’re well aware of the issue and well aware of where Dallas Cowboys fans are on it. All of that will be put in the hopper. We’ll see how we handle it.”
A number of players have said this offseason that they intend to kneel during the anthem this season.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said this week during an interview on Emmanuel Acho’s YouTube series YouTube series UncomfortableConversations with a Black Man that he will support players who kneel.
“Yes [I will support them]. We have never disciplined a single player for anything with the national anthem and in violation. And I don’t intend to,” Goodell said. “And I will support them.”
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