THE NFL has gotten through to Jerry Jones. For a day.
The Cowboys owner, who really has never been silenced before, was silenced Sunday, when he and Dallas’ public relations team told reporters he would not be answering questions regarding the national anthem, according to the Star-Telegram, because the league asked him not to.
Last week, Bengals owner Mike Brown told ESPN that the league’s owners have been instructed to keep their mouths shut about the protests and their rights to exist. If a gag order was indeed instituted, Jones is finding out days too late.
On Wednesday, Jones proudly bragged the Cowboys would not be hiding or kneeling during “The Star-Spangled Banner,” trying to score patriotism points with the fanbase.
“Our policy is you stand during the anthem, toe on the line,” Jones told reporters.
In doing so, he ignored the half-measure of a rule the NFL adopted, which allowed players to remain in the locker room if they wished to protest during the national anthem. The rule has since been tabled, the league realising its fans were either 1) infuriated that players’ right to protest was being infringed upon or 2) infuriated that players weren’t being forced to openly stand at attention.
In flouting the rule he voted to institute, Jones gained the attention of President Trump, who cheered the hard-line stance with, “Way to go Jerry.” For a day at least, Jones couldn’t seek the president’s praise.
After Jones informed the outlets no anthem questions would be entertained, Fox 4’s Mike Doocy cancelled the interview.