As Week 7 of the NFL season rolled around, many players continued to protest during the national anthem. A meeting between team owners and players was held Wednesday to discuss the issue, but only one owner reportedly took a stand against the protests. That owner was Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys.
After his 35-31 loss to the Green Bay Packers in Week 5, Jones stated, “We cannot in the NFL, in any way, give the implication that we tolerate disrespecting the flag,” according to The Dallas Morning News.
Then Jones dropped the hammer on the debate:
If we are disrespecting the flag then we won't play. Period. We're going to respect the flag, and I'm going to create the perception of it.
We cannot in the NFL in any way give the implication that we tolerate disrespecting the flag. I know the vice president did leave, because in his opinion the teams were. 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. Just so we're clear.
Then, on Sunday, the Dallas Cowboys faced the San Francisco 49ers, and every single one of them stood for the entirety of the national anthem. Most of them even held their hands over their hearts.
However, there was one player who still found a way to express himself without disobeying Jones's orders. Despite rumors of David Irving planning to kneel during the anthem, he only raised his fist once the national anthem ended and was the only player on his team to do so.
Looks like Jones was successful in getting his players to respect the flag.