Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones issued a stark ultimatum to his players over the weekend, warning the athletes that any player who “sits out” the national anthem would not take the field, reports Fox News.
His comments make him the first NFL owner to publicly bar his players from “taking a knee” during the performance of the ‘Star-Spangled Banner.’ The outspoken owner issued the warning after being asked to comment on Vice President Pence’s decision to leave an NFL game on Sunday following some players decision to sit-out the anthem.
“I know this, we cannot … in the NFL in any way give the implication that we tolerate disrespecting the flag,” said Jones. “We know that there is a serious debate in this country about those issues, but there is no question in my mind that the National Football League and the Dallas Cowboys are going to stand up for the flag. So, we’re 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,” he added. “We will not disrespect the flag.”
“If there’s anything that is disrespectful to the flag, then we will not play. OK? Understand? If we are disrespecting the flag, then we won’t play. Period,” said Jones.