Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said players were not allowed to kneel during the national anthem, but David Irving protested anyways.
When NFL owners and players decided to join (see also: hijack) Colin Kaepernick’s national anthem protests, it did little to put an end to tensions. The message has been sort of lost, but the method is still as hotly debated as ever.
Jerry Jones defied Donald Trump when he kneeled with his players before a Monday night game in Arizona, but he also doubled down hard in his response. A fake meme made the rounds on the internet which depicted Jones as lambasting his players for daring to have a voice of opinion, especially as long as he’s signing their checks.
The fake meme turned to reality when Jones announced last week that any player who kneels during the anthem would be benched, thus appeasing Trump’s dream.
Everyone was standing during the anthem in San Francisco on Sunday, but David Irving did so by his own rules. The Cowboys standout defensive end stood for the anthem but raised his fist, thus defying Jones’ (loose?) rules about not protesting.
The issue of semantics might come up more than a few times in Dallas this week. Jones said that players were not allowed to kneel during the anthem, he didn’t say they were not allowed to protest. There were other Cowboys players who weren’t in line with their teammates standing on the sideline, which leads us to wonder if this was also a protest.
Whether he meant to or not but by making a rule about protesting, Jones thrust his team to the epicenter of the protest controversy.
Maybe Jones will change the language of his request, or perhaps this is the beginning of the compromise that players demand. It has been heavily rumored that NFL owners want a rule he bars players from kneeling during the protest but allowing some form of protest while standing could be the middle ground both sides settle on.
Only time will tell, but this issue is clearly not going anywhere.