Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has given his players an ultimatum regarding the national anthem. If a player chooses to disrespect the flag, he will not play in the game—and it’s as simple as that.
"If there's anything that is disrespectful to the flag, then we will not play," he said following the team’s loss to the Green Bay Packers, 35-31. "Understand? We will not ... if we are disrespecting the flag, then we will not play. Period."
Jones’s comments came after being asked about Vice President Mike Pence, who left the Indianapolis Colts-San Francisco 49ers game on Sunday when more than 20 players from the 49ers knelt during the national anthem.
"I know this, we cannot ... in the NFL in any way give the implication that we tolerate disrespecting the flag," he said. "We know that there is a serious debate in this country about those issues, but there is no question in my mind that the National Football League and the Dallas Cowboys are going to stand up for the flag. So we're clear."
Two weeks ago Jones knelt arm in arm with his players before the national anthem at a game against the Arizona Cardinals. But he said respect for the flag is more important than any issues regarding team unity.
"We as a team are very much on the page together," Jones said. "We made our expression. I'm very supportive of the team, but under no circumstances will the Dallas Cowboys -- I don't care what happens -- under no circumstances will we as an organization, coaches, players, not support and stand and recognize and honor the flag. Period."
He continued: "There is no room here if it comes between looking non-supportive of our players and of each other or creating the impression that you're disrespecting the flag, we will be non-supportive of each other."
"We will not disrespect the flag," he said.