Dallas Cowboys Kneel, and Then Stand, Before Monday Night Game

by

COURTESY OF THE DALLAS COWBOYS
  • Courtesy of the Dallas Cowboys

On Monday night, all eyes were on “America’s Team,” the Dallas Cowboys, to see how they would respond after a weekend of NFL athletes kneeling during the national anthem.

Prompted by President Donald Trump’s Friday comments, in which he insinuated any player who peacefully protests by kneeling during the national anthem is a “son of a bitch” who should be fired, more than a hundred NFL players and coaches across the country linked arms and knelt during the national anthem prior to their weekend football games.

Surely, some people were anxious to see how the Dallas Cowboys, who didn’t play until Monday night, would choose to react to the controversy — after all, fake quotes from Cowboys owner Jerry Jones had been making rounds on the internet for almost a year since after former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick first began silently protesting during the national anthem. Even Governor Greg Abbott has shared a debunked article quoting Jones saying “You will stand for the National Anthem, or your ass will be off this team.” Jones never said this.

“You are all simply paid performers on a stage and that field is my stage! You will stand, with your hand over your heart and with respect, when our Country’s National Anthem is being played or you will no longer be a Dallas Cowboy, a Coach for the Dallas Cowboys, or have any association with the Dallas Cowboy Organization! I will immediately fire you, no matter who you are!” a different meme supposedly quoting Jones said.

Jones never said this, either.

Jones has talked about his deep respect for the American flag, and said he feels strongly that players should stand during the national anthem — but he hasn't gone as far as the president by threatening to fire players over it. There was no better time to prove this than on Monday night, when the entire Dallas team, including coaches and Jerry Jones himself, linked arms and knelt on the field — much to the dismay of fans attending the game at the Arizona Cardinals stadium, who booed loudly, and Trump, who was quick to point out the boos.

“The booing at the NFL football game last night, when the entire Dallas team dropped to its knees, was loudest I have ever heard. Great anger,” Trump tweeted.

But the Cowboys stood up before the national anthem actually began. With their arms still linked, they managed to support their players who wanted to take a stance, while also standing for the flag. It was a compromise, a team effort.

Trump called this “big progress” in a tweet.

“I’ve never been prouder of my association with players and a coaching staff as I am with this crew,” Jones said to reporters after the game. “We all agreed our players wanted to make a statement about unity and equality… It was real easy for everybody to see the message of unity and equality was getting pushed aside or diminished by controversy.”

Ultimately, Jones, who supported Trump during his presidential campaign with a $1 million donation, declined to address Trump’s criticism of the protests.

“I want actions to be louder than words. And we did it. We made our statement," Jones said.

Here's to hoping Cowboys fans were patient enough to watch the whole thing play out before burning their tickets and jerseys.

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