President Trump has successfully created divisiveness in the NFL between players and team owners. Last month, Trump said any “sons of… [you know what]” who kneel in protest during the national anthem are disrespecting the flag and the country. Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones – who donated to Trump – threatened to bench any Cowboys players who protest during the anthem.
Over the weekend, Cowboys players David Irving and Damontre’ Moore raised their fists in protest after the playing of the anthem concluded.
Jones commented, “I don’t know about that. But if there is anything that is disrespectful to the flag then we will not play. You understand? 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. And we have.”
The NFL Players Association responded to Jones’ threat with the “NFLPA Statement on Players’ Constitutional Rights,” which states:
“NFL players are union members and part of the labor movement that has woven the fabric of America for generations. Our men and their families are also conscientious Americans who continue to be forces for good through our communities and some have decided to use their platform to peacefully raise awareness to issues that deserve attention.”
The statement continues, “It is a source of enormous pride that some of the best conversations about these issues have taken place in our locker rooms in a respectful, civil and thoughtful way that should serve as a model for how all of us can communicate with each other. We should not stifle these discussions and cannot allow our rights to become subservient to the very opinions our Constitution protects. That is what makes us the land of the free and home of the brave.”
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