The Dallas Cowboys proprietor Jerry Jones, no stranger to talking his thoughts and creating controversy, on Wednesday added gas to an already complicated and rancorous debate about how the N.F.L. plans to deal with gamers who show in the course of the taking part in of the nationwide anthem this season.
At the opening of the Cowboys’ coaching camp in Oxnard, Calif., Jones mentioned that every one his staff’s gamers can be required to face on the sector for the taking part in of the The Star-Spangled Banner. They wouldn’t have the ability to keep within the staff’s locker room, one thing allowed below the league’s revised coverage on the anthem.
“Our policy is you stand during the anthem, toe the line,” Jones told reporters.
Jones added that President Trump’s tweets criticizing the league’s dealing with of the gamers who protest had been “problematic” for the N.F.L.
Jones’s feedback got here because the league and N.F.L. Players Association proceed to debate the best way to revise the anthem coverage but once more.
In May, the homeowners unilaterally mentioned that gamers can be obligated to face on the sector for the nationwide anthem however would have the choice of staying indoors. The league reserved the proper to effective groups whose gamers protest on the sector in the course of the anthem, whereas the groups, in flip, can penalize these gamers.
Previously, gamers had been obligated to be on the sector in the course of the anthem, however solely inspired, not pressured, to face whereas the tune was being performed.
The new guidelines successfully permit every staff to deal with the anthem coverage because it sees match. Chris Johnson, chief government of the Jets, mentioned he wouldn’t penalize gamers who protested. San Francisco 49ers Coach Kyle Shanahan mentioned primarily the identical factor.
Among the 32 homeowners, Jones has been the loudest proponent of forcing all gamers to face for the anthem, and his feedback Wednesday had been the clearest suggestion but that he intends to penalize gamers who don’t observe his coverage.
Officials with the N.F.L. had no touch upon Jones’s remarks. George Atallah, chief spokesman for the gamers’ union, declined to remark.
Jones’s remarks complicate the already thorny negotiations between the league and union. Earlier this month, the union filed a grievance, saying the league violated the collective bargaining settlement when it unilaterally imposed a brand new anthem coverage.
The two sides at the moment are looking for a technique to amend the coverage in order that the league can win the backing of the union. The league mentioned final week it could droop the brand new coverage for a number of weeks whereas it tries to work issues out with the union.
At the identical time, the league is combating grievances filed by quarterback Colin Kaepernick and security Eric Reid. Both gamers took a knee in the course of the anthem whereas taking part in for the San Francisco 49ers, and each have accused the league and its 32 groups of blackballing them. The gamers are free brokers, and stay unsigned.