America’s Team protesting during the anthem — oh, the irony.
After watching hundreds of players protest in some manner during the playing of the national anthem last Sunday, Donald Trump reportedly called Jerry Jones four times, begging him to urge Cowboys players to stand for the anthem prior to their Monday night primetime game vs. the Cardinals, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport.
While shocking, it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise since what team has the potential to make a bigger statement against Trump’s rhetoric than “America’s Team?”
Now how ironic would that be?
“Jerry Jones, before the Cowboys took the field on Monday night, was in the locker room,” Rapoport said in a video posted to Twitter Sunday. “He got four separate calls from Donald Trump imploring him: ‘Please do not have America’s Team kneel during the anthem.'”
Donald Trump has frequently attacked players who kneel or sit during the national anthem.
The entire Cowboys team and Jones linked arms and took a knee prior to the playing of the national anthem Monday, only to rise and stand once the anthem started. The Cowboys would go on to beat the Cardinals 28-17.
Trump said he spoke with Jones Wednesday, and applauded him for convincing his players to stand for the anthem.
“Spoke to Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys yesterday,” Trump tweeted Wednesday. “Jerry is a winner who knows how to get things done. Players will stand for Country!”
Trump nor Jones have made any mention of a conversation occurring before last week’s Monday Night Football game.
Players kneel during the national anthem
Jones confirmed on Friday he did, in fact, speak with Trump on Wednesday, while appearing on 105.3 The Fan. Jones didn’t reveal the specifics of his conversation, only that Trump was complimentary of the Cowboys’ show of unity prior to Monday’s game, before quickly adding that does not mean he or the team “acquiesced” to Trump’s repeated pleas urging players to stand for the anthem.
“The implication that there was some kind of pat on the back or anything like that is really not the case,” Jones said on the radio show. “It was a simple discussion. I know him. I’ve known him for several years. We have in common a big interest in football and sport.”
Trump previously said he is fine with players linking arms during the anthem, just as long as they are standing while doing so.
“Great solidarity for our National Anthem and for our Country,” Trump tweeted. “Standing with locked arms is good, kneeling is not acceptable. Bad ratings!”