President Donald Trump used Twitter on Friday to share his support of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones’ player-will-stand position.
“Way to go Jerry,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “This is what the league should do!”
Jones said at his training camp kickoff press conference that he isn’t waiting for the NFL and its players association to come to an agreement on a policy regarding whether players must stand at attention during the national anthem.
“Our policy is you stand during the anthem, toe on the line,” Jones said Wednesday.
Jones said the Cowboys also will not tolerate players remaining in the locker room during the anthem instead of standing on the field.
Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins said Friday that Jones is a “bully” for ordering players to follow his anthem plan.
“Lucky for me, I don’t play for the Cowboys,” Jenkins said. “Nor would I want to. I think it’s unfortunate the you have owners like him that use his position to intimidate and thwart even the idea of players thinking individually.”
NFL owners agreed to a policy in May, mandating players not planning to stand for the anthem needed to stay in the locker room until just before the game or face fine or suspension. The NFL rescinded that policy last week after the players union filed a grievance and said it could take legal action. The two sides are in negotiations.
Backlash spiked again this week when the Miami Dolphins sent a memo about their intention to fine or suspend players who kneel during the national anthem. Owner Stephen Ross said the policy was merely a placeholder until the NFL established its overall position and fine schedule.
The NFL and NFLPA released a brief joint statement on Friday meant as an update to ongoing negotiations between players and owners.
“A short time ago, the NFL and NFLPA concluded a constructive meeting regarding the anthem policy and the very serious social justice issues that have been the basis of some players’ protests,” the statement reads. “We are encouraged by the discussions and plan to continue our conversations.”
The issue has escalated, in part, because of Trump’s vocal opposition of players who protest during the anthem. In the past, he’s called via Twitter for players to be forced to sit out the game if they fail to stand for the anthem. If they do it a second time, players should be suspended without pay for the season, Trump wrote.
—Field Level Media