AUSTIN (KXAN/AP) — All eyes were on Glendale, Ariz. Monday night as the Dallas Cowboys take on the Arizona Cardinals, not because of the action on the field, but because of what happened on the sidelines during the national anthem.
The players, including team owner Jerry Jones, locked arms and then briefly kneeled for about 15 seconds, before standing during the singing of the national anthem. A roar of boos could be heard when the team kneeled.
As the American flag was unfurled across the field, an announcer said, “As we honor our nation’s flag and the men and women of our armed forces, who have sacrificed so much to ensure our freedoms, we invite you to unite as well, and do the same with your fellow fans, regardless of jersey color.”
Tuesday morning, Trump tweeted about the Cowboys’ display, saying ” The booing at the NFL football game last night, when the entire Dallas team dropped to its knees, was loudest I have ever heard. Great anger.”
Trump followed it up with another tweet, saying while they did kneel, he appreciated that they stood up during the National Anthem.
“Big progress being made-we all love our country!” he tweeted.
Sunday, 200 NFL players protested the national anthem in forms ranging from kneeling, locking arms, sitting or raising a clinched-fist. Last week it was just six.
The protests come after President Donald Trump said he wished NFL owners would fire the “son of a [expletive]” who protest the during the anthem. Trump continued his offensive on the protesting players with an early morning tweet Monday:
The issue of kneeling has nothing to do with race. It is about respect for our Country, Flag and National Anthem. NFL must respect this!”
NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart fired back Monday in a conference call defending players’ rights to peacefully protest what they view as racial inequality and police brutality.
“Everyone should know, including the president, this is what real locker room talk is,” Lockhart said, in an apparent reference to the “Access Hollywood” tapes in which Trump bragged about sexually assaulting women.
Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began protesting last season in his effort to bring attention to police violence against minorities.