Jerry Jones addresses Dontari Poe kneeling during anthem
Jerry Jones has long been opposed to players kneeling during the national anthem, but the NFL’s evolving stance on peaceful pregame protests was on full display in Week 1, including during the Dallas Cowboys’ game against the Los Angeles Rams.
One of the players who chose to kneel during the anthem on Sunday was Cowboys defensive lineman Dontari Poe, the first time a Cowboys player has done so.
Dontari Poe is the first Dallas Cowboys player to kneel during the national anthem pic.twitter.com/ecnrjR7TlM— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) September 14, 2020
Poe’s decision unsurprisingly led to Jones being asked about it during an interview on Tuesday. Rather than articulate his personal feelings on the topic, Jones pivoted to say how Cowboys players supported Poe’s decision.
“I thought our players showed respect to Poe’s decision,” Jones said on 105.3 The Fan, per Clarence E. Hill Jr. of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “They did show a sensitivity to our fans as a team but also asked in a very sensitivity to have the help we hope comes. Our team was very real and genuine in the way we approached it.”
Jones interestingly made note of how the players’ actions showed sensitivity to Cowboys fans. The comment echoes what Jones said last week about how players view the act of kneeling during the anthem far differently to how fans feel about it.
Prior to those comments, it merits noting that Jones has seemingly become less resistant to the notion of players kneeling during the anthem this past offseason.
However, given how Poe previously expressed his intent to kneel during the anthem this coming season, Jones’ hand was arguably forced to some extent concerning Cowboys players doing so this season.
What’s more, Poe’s announcement came amid league-wide criticism of Jones over his protracted silence amid the outcry and calls for social justice throughout the the NFL in the wake of George Floyd’s death on May 25 while in Minneapolis police custody, among other recent high-profile incidents of police misconduct.