Cowboys players won't test Jerry Jones' anthem policy, report says

“Too many of the fans of the Dallas Cowboys perceive this as disrespect for the flag. And so I don’t want our team doing it.”

"Jerry Jones' comments are more than tone-deaf, more than misinformed and misguided - they are a public commitment by an National Football League owner to violate his players' constitutional right to free speech - one of the principles on which our nation was founded", said Tony Covington, a former National Football League player who now serves as the NAACP's Senior Director of Corporate Affairs.

FRISCO, Texas - Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, in a meeting Wednesday with players and coaches, said his stance on the national anthem protests was rooted in a desire to play the bad guy and deflect attention from the players, according to a source.

Earlier Sunday, Vice President Mike Pence left an Indianapolis Colts game in protest after about a dozen San Francisco players kneeled during the anthem.

"There's nothing that I've seen that shows the union that did file the [unfair labor practice] has any connection with the NFL Players Association, the NFL, or any particular player".

I can't wait until @jemelehill gets a platform in which she can give her unfiltered opinion. "Period", Jones said, according to the Dallas Morning News. "If there's anything that is disrespectful to the flag, then we will not play", Jones told assembled reporters. Later, Trump said he spoke to Jones and that Jones told him the Cowboys would stand for the anthem going forward.

Wade Rathke, chief organizer of Local 100, said that Jones' threat violates the National Labor Relations Act of 1935, which allows employees "to engage in protected concerted activities for the goal of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection". If they are taking a knee in protest of something the owner has done to them, and it being connected to the conditions of employment, then they might have a case.

ESPN's Josina Anderson tweeted out quotes from one anonymous player who seems apoplectic.

"If it is a private stadium, it is not a public forum and the person imposing the rule is not a government actor", said Stephen F. Ross, director of the Penn State University Institute for Sports Law, Policy, and Research. "But these are workers with rights with the National Labor Relations Board".

"If the government pays for the patriotic display and the firing is a result of the behavior being deemed insufficiently patriotic, it is conceivable that that a claim could then be articulated", said Floyd Abrams, a First Amendment attorney in NY.

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