- The Washington Times - Monday, October 9, 2017

ASHBURN — Asked for his thoughts about Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones saying if a player sits during the national anthem, he wouldn’t play during the game, Redskins running back Chris Thompson sighed and said, “Oh man.”

“Everyone wants us to stand up for something and not just sit around and make this money,” Thompson said. “But then it’s like, when you stand up, or in this specific situation, guys are standing up for something which was started with [Colin] Kaepernick and what he was starting to take the kneel for. And now, everybody’s like, ‘Sit down. We don’t want you to stand for this. Find something else.’ It’s a tough situation.”

Thompson and other Redskins on Monday denied a weekend report that owner Daniel Snyder told players to stand during the national anthem moving forward.

The Intercept’s Shaun King tweeted, “Players from Washington, who have a bye this week, have told me they have been informed they must stand moving forward as well.”

Last week, the Redskins all stood for the national anthem in Kansas City before “Monday Night Football.” Against the Oakland Raiders, Washington had seven players kneel during the anthem, while others locked arms.

Thompson said the team has talked about the issue only once.

“We’re good to go,” Thompson said. “We’re understanding in this locker room. I think that’s all we’ve got to focus on.”

Redskins cornerback Bashaud Breeland said players would act together as a team, but support each other if someone, for instance, wanted to kneel while others stood.

“We have the right to do what we choose,” Breeland said. “Whatever they choose, then we’re all for it.”

Redskins tight end Vernon Davis called the Dallas Cowboys owner’s comments “a sensitive subject.”

“If an owner comes to you and says, ‘If you don’t stand, you’re not going to play,’ then, I mean, he’s the owner,” Davis said. “Either you listen or you don’t. … It’s all up to you. I can’t speak for other guys.

“But I can say when you’re in compliance, things tend to work out for you.”

Davis described himself as a “big believer in equal rights,” but said he’s focused on the season — adding that he doesn’t feel he’s in position to speak out.

On Monday, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith issued a strongly worded statement following Jones‘ remarks. He challenged NFL management to live up to its “Football is Family” motto by supporting a player’s right to protest.

“I look forward to the day when everyone in Management can unite and truly embrace and articulate what the Flag stands for: ‘Liberty and Justice for All’ instead of some of them talking about standing,” Smith said. “We look forward to continuing our talks with them on this very issue.”

Vice President Mike Pence left Sunday’s game between the Indianapolis Colts and the San Francisco 49ers shortly after players protested during the anthem. Pence later tweeted he left the game because he would “not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem.”

In his statement, Smith said “No player is disrespecting our Country or our Flag” for kneeling.

Thompson said being tasked with trying to please either side “just goes with life.”

“You’re not going to satisfy everybody,” Thompson said. “Do whatever you feel is best for you.”

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