The Dallas Cowboys owner, Jerry Jones, wants to "help" his players bring attention to racial injustice despite telling them they would be benched if they knelt during the national anthem.
Before the Cowboys' game at Arizona on September 25, Jones and members of his family joined the players, coaches and staff on the field prior to the anthem.
Tony Covington, a former National Football League player who now serves as Senior Director of Corporate Affairs for the NAACP, deemed Jones' comments as "more than tone-deaf, more than misinformed and misguided" in an official statement.
In the two games since, the Cowboys have stood on the sideline as normal.
Meanwhile, Jones told CBS Sports Radio's 105.3 The Fan on Tuesday that players are still free to express themselves, with one caveat: "If we're going to have any recognition, it needs to be before the anthem".
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Jones has said players will not play, not that they would be fired if they don't stand for the anthem, but Wade Rathke, Local 100s chief organizer, said that is a "distinction without difference when it comes to the law".
In a players and coaches meeting Wednesday, the Cowboys decided the actions they took in Week 3 were appropriate.
Rathke said there is no distinction between benching a player for a game or firing him outright by releasing him. I do believe we're united on this. "He wanted to make sure they knew that". "I think our team's done a really good job on that". "I think Mr. Jones should just say, 'I stepped out of line.' Fine". He is always speaking to the media about the team.
Meanwhile, Lions safety Glover Quin, who is Detroit's union representative, said that when the NFLPA responds to Jones' remarks, it won't be ambiguous.