The controversy over National Football League players and owners taking knees rather than to stand for the national anthem and the flag was reignited over the weekend.
Vice-President Mike Pence walked out of an Indianapolis Colts game, protesting all the knees taken.
Later in the day, legendary Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones spoke to reporters at length on the protests following his team’s loss to the Packers.
“I know this. We cannot in the NFL, in any way, give the implication that we tolerate disrespecting the flag. We cannot do that. I know the vice-president did leave because in his opinion the teams were (disrespecting the flag). We know 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. Just so we’re clear.”
Jones appeared to make it clear and transparent about his leadership and opinions about the controversy.
“The main thing I want to do is make it real clear. There is no room here,” he said.
“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. We will not disrespect the flag.” Said Jones.
Jones said the rules about respecting the flag are in the NFL’s rule manual.
The following is a verbatim extract from the NFL rules book.
“The National Anthem must be played prior to every NFL game, and all players must be on the sideline for the National Anthem. During the National Anthem, players on the field and bench area should stand at attention, face the flag, hold helmets in their left hand and refrain from talking. The home team should ensure that the American flag is in good condition. It should be pointed out to players and coaches that we continue to be judged by the public in this area of respect for the flag and our country. Failure to be on the field by the start of the National Anthem may result in discipline, such as fines, suspensions, and/or the forfeiture of draft choice(s) for violations of the above, including first offenses.”
“If there is anything disrespecting the flag, then we will not play. Period,” he said. “We’re going to respect the flag and I’m going to create the perception of it.”