SBD/August 23, 2017/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Jerry Jones Pleased With Way Cowboys Have Handled Growing NFL Player Protests

Cowboys players have chosen to stand as a team during the national anthem
Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones said that the U.S. flag is "important to him and he liked the way his team has handled" the growing number of NFL player protests during the national anthem to date, according to Clarence Hill Jr. of the FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM. Jones said, "I just feel so strongly that the act of recognizing the flag is a salute to our country and all of the people that have sacrificed so that we can have the liberties we have. So, I feel very strongly, everyone should, save that moment for recognition of the flag in a positive way. So I like the way the Cowboys do it." The Cowboys have "chosen to stand as a team" during the anthem. A source said that no player has "asked to protest" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 8/23). Texans coach Bill O'Brien also said the organization "believes strongly in the national anthem and believes in standing for the national anthem." Asked if a Texans player could protest during the anthem, LB Whitney Mercilus said, "I don't know. Man, I don't know the answer to that, honestly. But man, the biggest thing for that, look, you're entitled to your own opinion" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 8/23).

PATRIOTS MAY GET INVOLVED: In Boston, Brad Almquist notes no current Patriots players "have demonstrated yet," but S Devin McCourty has "noticed the traction the movement is gaining." McCourty said, “I’ve thought about it and how to get involved and how to help, but we’ll see.” McCourty’s twin brother, Browns CB Jason McCourty, was "part of the contingent that held the silent protest Monday." Devin McCourty "sees the progression as a positive sign." He said, “People’s minds are more open in trying to understand exactly what guys are trying to say and not just I think coming up with their own justification of what guys are trying to portray" (BOSTON GLOBE, 8/23). Also in Boston, Karen Guregian notes Devin McCourty held up his right fist with then-Patriots TE Martellus Bennett after the anthem was played in last year’s season opener against the Cardinals. He said after the game that he "respects the anthem but wants to help improve the country" (BOSTON HERALD, 8/23).

SIGNS OF PROGRESS
: In West Palm Beach, Jason Lieser reports Dolphins WR Kenny Stills was "heartened" by the 12 Browns players who knelt Monday. He said, "I’m encouraged to see people getting involved and hope that they start taking the action and get involved in their community.” Stills, who knelt during the anthem last season, reiterated that he will "not take a knee" this season. Stills: "The narrative was going the wrong way, and I just wanted to get it going back the right way. I think the guys that are kneeling, as long as they start getting themselves involved in the community and start getting to work, then people can’t really have anything negative to say about that" (PALM BEACH POST, 8/23).
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