Dontari Poe, a defensive lineman, was the only Cowboys player to take a knee during the "Star-Spangled Banner." The rest of his teammates on the sideline, including Poe, stood for the anthem. Poe's decision to kneel was one he made long before the season began. He has not been fined by the team or anyone else for his action.
Poe's father, De'Andre, told ESPN's Jeff Darlington that his son plans to kneel again during Sunday's game against the Philadelphia Eagles if they make it to that point.
"He's not going to stop until there's change," De'Andre said. "No matter what happens next week, he'll continue to do what he's doing because there's still a lot of people that don't know what he went through each day when he heard 'God bless America,' saw all the violence, knew someone pulled the trigger. Now he's out here to tell his story and let people know there's more than just two ways you can show your patriotism."
Poe announced his decision in an interview with ESPN last month. At the time, he said he was taking a stand against police brutality by kneeling during the anthem.
"As a man who loves this country, who is fighting for justice, and wants to see change, I cannot stay silent anymore," Poe said at the time.
IN INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA, Dontari Poe, a defensive lineman, became the first Cowboys player to kneel during the national anthem. Poe kneeled on the Dallas sideline before Sunday's game against the Rams, with defensive line teammates and coaches placing their hands on his shoulder in support. When asked about the action later in the week, coach Jason Garrett said he supported his players' right to express themselves and that he hoped they would continue to do so throughout the season.
The NFL has not taken any action against the Cowboys, but owners are expected to discuss the issue when they meet next month in Atlanta. President Trump criticized the NFL and its owners for allowing players to protest during the national anthem, saying on Friday that anyone who does not stand for the anthem should be fired. "I think it's terrible," Trump said of the protests. "I don't want my kids playing in those games."
In a statement, the Cowboys said: "We are aware of the fact that some people believe that taking a knee during the national anthem is disrespectful to our country. However, we believe that many people who show respect for our flag and our country by kneeling or standing during the national anthem are doing so with good intentions. We know that many people feel strongly about this topic, and we respect their views but we cannot have players disrespecting the flag by refusing to stand for the national anthem."
Dontari Poe: Before the SNF kickoff versus. Rams, Dontari Poe became the first Cowboys player to kneel during the national anthem. His decision came a day after Trump made his comments about NFL players and sparked an increase in anti-Trump protests by athletes across the country.
Poe did not stand when "The Star-Spangled Banner" was played before Sunday's game, but he did put his hand over his heart while it was being sung. He sat down again as soon as the music stopped.
His action drew strong reactions from both fans and media members. Some viewers took to Twitter to complain about Poe not standing for the anthem while others praised him for his protestiveness.
According to ESPN, several other Dallas players will also be sitting or kneeling during the anthem this season in support of Poe's move.
To date, no other NFL team has decided to follow the Cowboys' lead. However, more than 20 other teams have pledged support for various forms of activism during the anthem.
In September, Trump attacked NFL owners for allowing their players to take a knee during the anthem.
Except for Dontari Poe, all of the Cowboys stood for the anthem. Poe did not come out on the field until after it was over.
Coach Jason Garrett said before the game that his players would be free to go about their business in any way they saw fit during the anthem. He said they would use its presence as an opportunity to show unity and serve as a reminder of our country's history of racial inequality.
During the anthem, members of the Dallas Cowboys organization were observed on the sidelines by fans and media members kneeling or standing with heads bowed. Some owners appeared to signal to their players to do the same. One owner was seen taking a knee himself.
After the anthem, several players took to social media to express their feelings on the issue. Defensive end David Irving wrote on Twitter: "There are times when you have to stand up for what you believe in. I support my teammates right to protest." Linebacker Sean Lee also tweeted his support: "I'm proud of my brothers for taking a stance against injustice. #standwithsean" Running back Joseph Randolf wrote: "I am going to stand up for what I believe in. #boycottNFL."
Dallas (Texas) – Cowboys star running back Ezekiel Elliott has allegedly indicated that some of his teammates will kneel during the national anthem in protest of racism and police brutality. During a podcast with Pro Football Talk, Elliott stated that some of his teammates will kneel during the Star-Spangled Banner on Sunday night. He added that he is "100 percent sure" this will happen.
Elliott's comments come just over a week after President Donald Trump called for NFL owners to fire any player who kneels during the national anthem. In a speech at a rally in Alabama on September 22, Trump said, "Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, 'Get off the field right now, you're fired.'"
The president was likely referring to rules that allow team owners to suspend or release players who fail to comply with social guidelines set by their organizations. However, none of them have done so as of yet.
In response to Trump's call, several other players have decided to kneel or sit during the national anthem this season to show support for racial equality and police accountability. Most recently, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco joined them in an attempt to bring more attention to police violence against people of color.
Flacco wrote on Twitter: "There are many factors that go into law enforcement decisions including the risk involved with making an arrest.
The national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner," is traditionally played before athletic events in the United States. Kaepernick and his 49ers teammate, Eric Reid, stated that they opted to kneel during the anthem to draw attention to racial inequity and police brutality. They later explained that they were not trying to offend anyone but rather were trying to bring about change.
Kneeling has been used as a form of protest since at least the 1960s, usually by Christians in prayer or fasting. In the recent past, it has become associated with politics: some people take a knee as a form of dissent against wrongdoings perpetrated by their government; others do so in support of causes they believe to be just.
In a 2016 interview with NBC Sports, Kaepernick said he was not trying to insult the flag by kneeling during the anthem. He added that he was trying to raise awareness around issues such as police brutality and social injustice toward people of color. "There are lots of ways to show respect without disrespecting our country and its symbols," he said.
Kaepernick started this movement when he took a knee during the anthem prior to an NFL preseason game on August 26, 2016. He was joined by several other players including Reid and Malcolm Jenkins of the New Orleans Saints.