Jones became the first NFL owner to publicly state an organizational policy that includes discipline if players protest during the national anthem.
ESPN's "Pardon the Interruption" host Michael Wilbon compared Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones to a slaveowner after Jones all but banned players from protesting during the national anthem. With his history and this ultimatum, Jones has basically told Cowboys players that he would rather they beat a woman a fraction of their size half to death than stand up for what they believe in. However, he clarified Tuesday that players could conduct themselves similarly to how they did in Week 3 before the Cardinals game, when they kneeled before the anthem but stood arm-in-arm when it was played.
"I don't think this unfair labor practice charge will go very far because, one, it hasn't been filed by the NFL Players Association, which is the union that represents the players", said Russell D. Cawyer, a Fort Worth-based lawyer who is a partner and chairman of Kelly Hart's labor and employment practice group. The move was applauded on Monday night by President Donald Trump, who tweeted: "A big salute to Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys, who will BENCH players who disrespect our Flag".
Trump's comment on Twitter Monday appears to respond to questions about whether Pence's brief attendance at the National Football League game was a political stunt.
As far as what constitutes "disrespecting the flag", Jones said: "You'll know it when you see it". Employment law allows private sector employers great latitude in restricting employee conduct and speech while at work. "We will not disrespect the flag".
One player said it was good to hear Jones talk because he was concerned Jones had "turned" on the team. "I don't want there to be any misunderstanding as to where I want the personnel of the Cowboys to be when we're at the No. 1 workplace we have, which is the field and the sideline on game day".
Irving and Moore have not said why they raised their fists at the end of the anthem. Vice President Mike Pence walked out of an Indianapolis home game in protest of about a dozen San Francisco players who kneeled during the anthem. And commissioner Roger Goodell sent a letter to teams on Tuesday reiterating the language.