Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said he was told by President Donald Trump last fall that his criticism of NFL players who protested during the national anthem was “a very winning, strong issue for me,” according to a report from The Wall Street Journal.
The comments were made by the Cowboys owner in a sworn deposition as part of the Colin Kaepernick grievance against the NFL. Kaepernick is suing the NFL for collusion, claiming the league owners have purposely refused to sign him because of concerns about his protests during the anthem.
Per the WSJ report:
“This is a very winning, strong issue for me,” Mr. Trump said in a phone call, according to a sworn deposition given by Mr. Jones and reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. “Tell everybody, you can’t win this one. This one lifts me.”
Jones isn’t the only owner who echoed this sentiment, Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross testified in his deposition that Trump “changed the dialogue” on how the league would handle the anthem protests, according to the WSJ.
All 32 NFL owners met last week in Atlanta, GA. and revealed a new policy in regards to the anthem, requiring all players stand for the anthem when on the sidelines. If a players chooses to kneel or otherwise protest during the playing of the Star Spangled Banner, their respective teams would be subject to a fine. Players who do not wish to stand during the anthem can remain in the locker room and thereby avoid having their teams and themselves subjected to fines.