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NFL silences owner who said he'd force players to stand for the national anthem

The NFL told Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones not to comment further on the NFL's national anthem policy or the team's policy. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

The NFL has silenced the one NFL owner who has definitively said he will force his players to stand during the pregame national anthem, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has said his players will stand, with "toes on the line" during the anthem, even though an NFL policy would have allowed players to remain in the locker room during the anthem if they chose.

Jones' son, team executive vice president Stephen Jones went further, insinuating that players who refused to abide by the team policy could be cut from the team.

Asked if he believed players would follow the rule, Stephen Jones said "If they want to be a Dallas Cowboy, yes."

Now, at the league's instruction, Jerry Jones won't comment further on the issue.

What happened?

Jones was scheduled to appear on several Dallas local broadcasts on Sunday night. Before the interviews, he informed the stations that questions about the national anthem, the NFL's policy, and the Cowboys' policy would not be allowed because the NFL told him not to talk about it anymore.

One of the networks, KDFW-TV, cancelled the interview as a result of the restrictions.

Why would the NFL do that?

The NFL's handling of the national anthem issue has been a jumbled mess, and it appears the league just wants everyone to stop talking publicly until it is figured out.

After months of deliberation, the league came up with a policy that required all players who were on the field to stand during the anthem, while allowing those who didn't want to stand to stay in the locker room.

The NFL Players Association protested, angry that it was not consulted in the creation of the policy and saying it violated the collective bargaining agreement.

Then, a policy document from the Miami Dolphins leaked, and it included a provision that players who don't stand for the anthem can be suspended up to four games. Dolphins owner Stephen Ross denied that it was the team's policy, saying it was just placeholder language.

Finally, the league gave in to NFLPA demands and froze the policy while the two sides worked on a more agreeable solution, which is where things stand right now.



One last thing…
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