Donald Trump’s interest in the NFL’s national anthem controversy is “problematic” for the league, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones tells ESPN.
In September, the matter of NFL players not standing for the national anthem will enter its third year of being a thing. It’s a thing that Jones wishes would go away. But the problem is, the NFL, the players’ union (the NFLPA), and the individual owners can’t seem to get on the same page about the issue. And Donald Trump keeps inserting himself into the discussion. Far too many times for Jones’ liking.
“His interest in what we’re doing is problematic, from my chair, and I would say in general the owners’ chair. It’s unprecedented, if you really think about it. But like the very game itself, that’s the way it is and we’ll deal with it. We feel strongly about how we deal with it and we’ll do so accordingly, but, yes, I, like everybody, would like for it to go away.”
Trump has been crystal clear about his views on the subject. Last year, he said that any “son of a b***h” who doesn’t stand for the national anthem should be fired. And again this week, as reported by the Inquisitr, Trump jumped into the discussion, saying that a player who doesn’t stand for the anthem should be out for the season without pay.
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) July 26, 2018
The NFL has tried – and by some measures, has failed – to find a way that respects the players’ right to protest while at the same time preserving the visuals of having the entire team standing for the anthem. Their policy allows players to remain in the locker room during the anthem if they so choose. But if they’re on the field during the playing of the anthem, they’re to be standing.
However, after the NFLPA filed a grievance, the NFL decided not to enforce the league-wide policy until after the two sides could hash things out – something that is certainly not going to happen before this season. That means two things: First, the NFL will not be enforcing the policy this season and second, it’s up to each team to decide on its own national anthem policies.
The Miami Dolphins last week announced that players who are on the field must stand for the anthem or face “a paid or unpaid suspension, a fine or both.” The Dallas Cowboys then joined them, as Yahoo Sports reported on Wednesday, Jones will require his players on the field, standing; staying in the locker room is not an option.