Eagles defensive back Malcolm Jenkins says Jerry Jones is a “bully” for his comments on the Cowboys’ national anthem policy. Jenkins is among several NFL players pushing back against the Dallas owner, who said earlier this week that all of his players were required to stand for the national anthem.
“Lucky for me, I don’t play for the Cowboys,” Jenkins told reporters at Eagles training camp. “Nor would I want to. I think it’s unfortunate that you have owners like him that use his position to intimidate and intentionally thwart even the idea of his players thinking individually or having a voice about issues that affect their communities daily, which is unfortunate.”
Earlier in the week, Jones said the Cowboys would enforce its own policy that every member of the team would stand with a “toe on the line” for the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The move was applauded by President Donald Trump but comes in spite of an NFL decision to suspend its league-wide anthem policy until it came to a resolution with the NFL Players Association.
Jenkins is not alone in his harsh words for Jones.
I never thought I’d see the day the mighty Jerry Jones would succumb to Trump’s pressure. His maneuvering around the anthem issue reveals how afraid the @NFL is by the movement @Kaepernick7 started. His 1st response to Trump was just as disingenuous. pic.twitter.com/tEQRU5Xoxe
— Russell Okung (@RussellOkung) July 27, 2018
“I never thought I’d see the day the mighty Jerry Jones would succumb to Trump’s pressure,” Chargers offensive lineman Russell Okung posted on Twitter. Okung, who is also a member of the Players Association’s executive committee, also questioned whether the league could negotiate with the players in good faith if Jones is allowed to enforce his own rules.
The league agreed to a new anthem policy in May which required players who remained on the field to stand for the song. The rules would have barred all on-field protests, but gave players the option to remain in the locker room. But the league put that policy on hold when the Miami Dolphins were slammed for filing paperwork that outlined the type of punishment players could face for protesting. Miami was seeking to designate anthem protests as “conduct detrimental to the club” — allowing the Dolphins to fine or suspend players who participated in demonstrations. Miami wide receiver Kenny Stills, who kneeled during the last two seasons, says the league should do away with all anthem rules.
“Obviously I’d like to see there be no policy at all and the guys have a choice to go out there and do what they want to, and we can support each other and the decisions we want to make,” said Stills.
One thing seems certain, the NFL’s anthem controversy isn’t going away any time soon.