The NFL ordered outspoken Cowboys owner Jerry Jones to stop answering questions regarding the league’s national anthem policy.
Last week, Jones announced Cowboys players would stand for the national anthem and he would not support anyone who chose to stay in the locker room. He was the first NFL owner to openly announce that his players would not be allowed to stay off the field during the anthem.
"No," Jones said when asked if he would support players staying in the locker room. "Our policy is that you stand at the anthem, toe on the line."
Following his comments, the NFL purportedly ordered Jones to keep quiet about the policy in future interviews, the Star-Telegram reported. The newspaper reported that some local TV stations were told by Jones to omit any questions regarding the national anthem and the Cowboys’ policy because the NFL told him to quit discussing the matter.
Last season, Jones was the first owner to declare that he would bench a player for protesting during the anthem. Two of his players — defensive linemen David Irving and Damontre Moore — raised their fists briefly as "The Star Spangled Banner" ended but weren't disciplined.
"I obviously wouldn't dare speak for any of the other owners, much less in general about 31 other owners," Jones said. "As far as the Dallas Cowboys are concerned, you know where I stand. Our team knows where I stand on the issue."
The policy comes in wake of the protests that were started by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. During the 2016-2017 NFL season, Kaepernick started kneeling during the anthem as part of a protest against police brutality.
After the kneeling triggered fierce debates and criticism from President Trump, the league moved to pay nearly $100 million to social justice causes supported by some players, despite critics' claims that it was meant purely to appease activist athletes.
In May, the NFL adopted a policy that would fine teams and league personnel who do not “stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem.” However, the policy was put on hold as the NFL and NFL Players’ Association negotiated the strategy.
Some Cowboys players, including quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott, said they planned to stand during the national anthem.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.