When President Donald Trump called on National Football League (NFL) owners to fire players for not standing and disrespecting the national anthem and American flag, it created a lot of controversy. Some of the most popular players in the country from a number of leagues including the NFL and NBA took to social media to lash out at President Trump and asked him to stick to politics and leave professional sports players alone.
Trump Calls On NFL Owners To Fire Players
The controversy arose because many NFL players had resorted to either kneeling or sitting during the national anthem as a way of protesting police violence on blacks. President Trump took offense to this as he believe that disrespecting the national anthem and flag as a professional sportsman was not the thing to do and he wanted NFL franchise owners to fire players who did this and send a strong message to the rest of the league.
Hundreds of NFL players have continued to protest during games but it appears that the NFL is fighting a losing battle as most Americans agree with President Trump on this issue. NFL ratings have continued to drop as President Trump has called on Americans to boycott the league as long as they support players who disrespected the national anthem.
Dallas Cowboys Owner Supports Trump
Jerry Jones, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys believes that the players are right in addressing their concerns over police violence against blacks but does not believe that they must do it by disrespecting the national anthem. When the controversy broke, Jones knelt together with the Cowboys as a show of support for the cause but did it before the national anthem was played.
Jones who is a supporter of Trump made his views clear this week by stating that the Dallas Cowboys would not tolerate any player who disrespected the flag or the anthem and confirmed that they would be fired. Jones said that in his mind there was no question that both the NFL and the Dallas Cowboys would stand up for the flag.
NFL Rule Book Requires Players To Stand
Jones stated that the NFL rule book had a clause in it which makes it mandatory for players to stand during the anthem. However there are some who stated that it standing for the anthem isn’t a rule but a policy guideline. The NFL has confirmed that it will not take any action against players who decide not to stand during the anthem.
However Jones has made it clear to his players that standing and respecting the national anthem would not be comprised by the Cowboys not matter what a player’s views may be.
Vice-president Mike Pence added more fuel to the fire on Sunday when he decided to walk out of a game between Indianapolis Colts and San Francisco 49ers. Pence attended to see Peyton Manning’s jersey retired but once he found players not standing during the anthem, he left abruptly.