- The Washington Times - Monday, October 9, 2017

NFLAPA executive director DeMaurice Smith issued a strongly worded statement Monday after Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said his team would not tolerate players “disrespecting the flag” during the national anthem. 

On Twitter, Smith said: 

Last week both the Comissioner and the Chair of the NFL Managment Council John Mara were clear when they assured our union leaders, in the presence of other owners, that they would respect the Constitutional rights of our members without retribution

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. We look forward to continuing our talks with them on this very issues.

No player is disrespecting our Country or our Flag. As thousands have shown in the past, it takes bravery and courage to speak and confront these issues as our players have, especially when it is unpopular with some.

There is room for Management to do the same and maybe then players do not have to risk the taunts and threat alone. This is their opportunity to lead as well and will be a true test of their motto that “Football is Family.”

After the Cowboys’ 35-31 loss to the Green Bay Packers, Jones told reporters his team would stand for the anthem and “if we are disrespecting the flag, then we won’t play. Period.”

Vice President Mike Pence left the Indianapolis Colts’ game Sunday shortly after players protested during the anthem. 

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