‘A big salute to Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys, who will BENCH players who disrespect our Flag.”Stand for Anthem or sit for game!”‘ Trump tweeted.
Jones made the comments over the national anthem controversy Sunday night.
Scroll down for video
‘I know this, we cannot…in the NFL in any way give the implication that we tolerate disrespecting the flag,’ Jones, also the team’s general manager, said after a 35-31 loss to the Green Bay Packers.
‘We know that there is a serious debate in this country about those issues, but there is no question in my mind that the National Football League and the Dallas Cowboys are going to stand up for the flag. So we’re clear.’
Dallas players, coaches and others, including Jones and his family, were among those in the line in Arizona. All of them stood during the anthem, with arms still locked.
Other than that, Dallas players have stood on the sideline, many with hands over their hearts, during the anthem ever since former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started kneeling last season in protest of police brutality in the US.
Jones said he wasn’t aware of whether any of his players had raised a fist at the end of the anthem before the Green Bay game.
‘I don’t know about that,’ said Jones, who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in August. ‘But if there’s anything that is disrespectful to the flag, then we will not play. OK? Understand? If we are disrespecting the flag, then we won’t play. Period.’
‘There is no room here if it comes between looking non-supportive of our players and of each other or creating the impression that you’re disrespecting the flag, we will be non-supportive of each other,’ Jones said. ‘We will not disrespect the flag.’
Jones said a phone conversation with Trump after the display in Arizona included Trump telling him there was a rule on the books.
The NFL has said the game operations manual distributed to teams includes a reference to players standing for the anthem, but that it’s a policy and not a rule. The league has said it doesn’t plan to punish players over anthem protests.