Jerry Jones stirred up more outrage over the NFL’s never-ending national anthem nightmare last week when he announced for all the world to hear that he expects his players to respect the flag, apparently no matter what the NFL decides to do about their brand new and perhaps already abandoned “no kneeling” policy.
“Our policy is you stand during the anthem, toe on the line,” Jones told reporters at a team press conference last week.
But according to multiple reports, that might’ve been the last the world will hear from Jones on the hot-button issue, at least this week.
Fort Worth’s Star-Telegram reports that the Cowboys’ public relations staff told television stations that Jones was ordered by the NFL to no longer discuss his team’s policy about protesting during the national anthem.
According to the outlet, Dallas’ Fox 4 reporter Mike Doocy canceled an interview with Jones last-second after Jones’ staff told him that the famously outspoken team owner wouldn’t comment on the policy publicly.
“Jones completed the interview with other TV stations as scheduled without talking about the anthem,” Reuters reports.
Two weeks ago — and within hours of the Miami Dolphins’ policy banning protesting during the anthem first coming to light — the NFL and the players union released a joint statement announcing that the league has indefinitely suspended the “no kneeling” policy until they can reach a new agreement on the divisive issue.
“The NFL and NFLPA, through recent discussions, have been working on a resolution to the anthem issue. In order to allow this constructive dialogue to continue, we have come to a standstill agreement on the NFLPA’s grievance and on the NFL’s anthem policy. No new rules relating to the anthem will be issued or enforced for the next several weeks while these confidential discussions are ongoing,” read the joint statement.
Owners had hoped back in May that they’d finally put the issue to rest by unanimously voting to ban kneeling. A Survey Monkey poll taken soon after the policy was announced found that a majority (54%) of respondents approved of the new policy, as did 56% of those who described themselves as fans; 43% of respondents disagreed as did 42% of fans. But to the NFL’s dismay, clearly, the ratings-damaging issue is far from over.