On Sunday’s season opener, all but one player for the Dallas Cowboys stood for the National Anthem. However, most of the social media attention focused on Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.
Jones watched the game at the SoFi Stadium from a suite. During the playing of the anthem, Jones stood with his hand across his chest.
Cowboys lineman Dontari Jones was the only player to take a knee during the anthem. Many on social media pointed out the face the Cowboys owner was making at the time.
NBC cameras at the game showed Jones appearing to smirk while holding his hand over his heart. Many on social media compared the look on Jones’ face to that of Mr. Burns from The Simpsons or Emperor Palpatine from Star Wars.
One Twitter user even made reference to Leonardo di Caprio’s character from Django Unchained.
The Cowboys Owner Changed His Stance on the Kneeling Controversy
Despite the comparisons, Jones has been outspoken in support of his players in recent weeks. Earlier this summer, Jones voiced his shifting stance on allowing players to kneel. However, he did express concerns that kneeling may negatively impact the Cowboys fanbase.
While speaking with 105.3 The FAN, Jones discussed the possibility of fans ditching the Cowboys over kneeling. “That is a huge issue. Huge. You know by just the nature of the way that I run the team how much I appreciate the interest that’s in the Dallas Cowboys,” Jones said.
He continued by saying: “I’m very sensitive to that. That’s exactly why I’ve said that I want our players to be very sensitive to just how important it is to the majority of our fans. More than any other team. The majority of our fans how sensitive they are recognizing what this great country is and what this flag stands for.”
In past years, Jones made no bones about his position on the issue. While he hasn’t changed his opinion entirely, Jones says that he knows every person standing or kneeling does so for their own personal reasons.
“Everybody knows where I stand. And there’s no equivocation there at all,” Jones said. “Consequently, I want everybody to understand that if any player that is standing out there has a serious, serious, serious awareness of the kind of sensitivity there is there and they ask for help. It’s not good to be obstreperous or anything if you’re asking people to see it through your eyes and see it in your way. It is important to show the kind of grace. It’s all about trying hard to move the ball forward to see where the other guy is coming from. Not necessarily to agree, but to see where he is coming from. I hope the Dallas Cowboys can be part of that just because that’s of interest in what we’re talking about this morning.”
[H/T Fort Worth Star-Telegram]