The Dallas Cowboys Took A Knee Monday Night — Before The National Anthem Began

The gesture was intended to be a call for unity, while still showing respect for the flag, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said before the game.

The Dallas Cowboys took a knee together before the national anthem at Monday's game versus the Arizona Cardinals.

Matt York / AP

Team owner Jerry Jones joined players and coaches in kneeling, a gesture that was meant to be a show of equality and unity, ESPN reported.


The team's actions came after NFL players across the league knelt or sat during the national anthem before games Sunday, defying ongoing criticism from President Donald Trump.

The protest movement began last year, when then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick repeatedly knelt during the anthem as a demonstration against police violence toward people of color. Since then, other professional athletes have also knelt during the anthem.

But the protests drew new attention — and support — after Trump said Friday that any player who didn't stand for the anthem was a "son of a bitch" who should be fired.

The president's comments prompted national debates about free speech and the right to peaceful demonstration — as well as what the protests themselves are about. Though multiple players have said they're making a statement about racism in the US, Trump has insisted the issue is only about respect for the flag.

On Monday, as the Cowboys knelt, some boos could be heard from the stands.

The Cowboys and owner Jerry Jones locked arms and took a knee in unity prior to the national anthem

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell called it a "great show of unity."

Great show of unity. Enjoy tonight's great matchup #DALvsAZ

The anthem's singer on Monday, Jordin Sparks, also silently shared a message about taking a stand.

Proverbs 31:8 Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.…

Written on the American Idol winner's hand was Proverbs 31:8-9. The Bible verses read, "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy."

Unlike other athletes who have protested over recent days, though, the Cowboys got back on their feet for the playing of the anthem.

Ross D. Franklin / AP

The team, who continued to link arms, were then joined by members of the military holding a massive flag. Members of the Arizona Cardinals also linked arms during the anthem.

"The Cowboys are respectful to what the flag means," Jones said during a pregame interview on Cowboys Radio.

Jerry Jones in Cowboys Radio pregame: "the Cowboys are respectful to what the flag means"

Jones is an active Republican and gave $1 million to President Trump's inauguration fund.

Rick Scuteri / AP

In comments to Fox Business earlier this month, Jones said he believed Americans should reflect on those who have made sacrifices for the country while the national anthem is played.

"I do not think the place to express yourself in society is as we recognize the American flag." - Jerry Jones on Na…

"That's not the place to do anything other than honor the flag and everyone that's given up a little for it," he told Maria Bartiromo at the Forbes 100th anniversary gala on Sept. 19.

Trump went on a Twitter rant Tuesday morning about the Monday Night Football game.

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

He began by reiterating that the NFL ratings were "way down except before game starts, when people tune in to see whether or not our country will be disrespected!"

The president went on to say that the fact that the Cowboys all stood for the national anthem was "progress."

But while Dallas dropped to its knees as a team, they all stood up for our National Anthem. Big progress being made-we all love our country!