President Trump said Wednesday that he’s spoken with Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, calling him a “winner” and suggesting his players will stand for the national anthem – a day after the president called out the team for its kneeling protest.
“Spoke to Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys yesterday. Jerry is a winner who knows how to get things done. Players will stand for Country!” Trump tweeted.
On Monday night, the team – joined by Jones – knelt before the playing of the national anthem in their game against the Arizona Cardinals.
Trump had called out the spectacle on Twitter, saying the booing from fans was the “loudest I have ever heard” and claiming there was “Great anger” at such displays. In a second tweet, though, Trump noted the team stood for the anthem itself and described that as “Big progress.”
The president has repeatedly stood by his criticism of the NFL’s protesters, including at a Rose Garden press conference Tuesday. Asked about the uproar, Trump called the protests “disgraceful” and blatantly disrespectful to veterans who fought for flag and country.
“I don’t think you can disrespect our country, our flag, our national anthem,” Trump said.
The long-simmering controversy kicked up last Friday when Trump said football players disrespecting the flag should be “fired.” Specifically, he said NFL owners should push to “get that son of a b---- off the field.”
The president’s remarks touched off an escalating standoff with team owners and players alike, with hundreds kneeling or locking arms or even sitting out the anthem entirely since Friday.
Earlier Tuesday, Trump called on the NFL to change its own rules to prohibit kneeling during the national anthem.