“Us as a team, we chose to stand together for the national anthem,” he said, according to the Dallas Morning News. “It was our decision. I think it just shows our culture. It shows that we have unity. We’re going to stand as one. That’s not knocking anyone else who may choose to kneel during the national anthem. But we’re the Dallas Football Cowboys, America’s Team. We stand for the national anthem.”
Elliott’s comments came the same day as quarterback Dak Prescott was asked if would consider kneeling for the anthem.
“I never protest,” Prescott said. “I never protest during the anthem, and I don’t think that’s the time or the venue to do so. The game of football has always brought me such peace, and I think it does the same for a lot of people — a lot of people playing the game, a lot of people watching the game, a lot of people who have any impact of the game — so when you bring such controversy to the stadium, to the field, to the game it takes away. It takes away from that, it takes away from the joy and the love that football brings a lot of people.”
Harris believes the NFL and the NFLPA are close to an agreement for how to handle anthem protests this season.
“I know they have something coming up soon,” Harris said. “I’ve been getting emails about it.”
Earlier this summer, the NFL announced it had come up with a new plan for “solving” the anthem problem that didn’t seem to solve anything. The league proposed that any player who chose to be on the sidelines during the anthem would have to stand. Those who did not want to stand would be allowed to remain in the locker room until the anthem was completed. No disciplinary action would be taken against those who remained out of sight in the locker room, but those who opted to kneel while on the sidelines would be subject to fines and potential suspensions.
The NFLPA was furious, saying it wasn’t consulted for its feedback. Some owners said they would allow players who wanted to kneel to do so on the sidelines without fear of being fined by their teams. Not to mention, there would be the awkward optics of players being introduced as part of the starting lineups running onto the field, only to turn around and head back to the locker room to protest the anthem, and then return to the field for the start of the game.
The NFL agreed to pull its solution off the table and work with the NFLPA on a modified policy.
But at the NFL owners’ meetings in Oxnard, California last week, there was no ambiguity when Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was asked if he’d support players who chose to kneel or stay in the locker room during the anthem.
“Our policy is that you stand at the anthem, toe on the line,” Jones said.
Jones admitted that he’d prefer for the entire anthem controversy to disappear, but said until it does, he’s going to deal with the problem as he sees fit.
“We feel strongly about how we deal with it and we’ll do so accordingly,” Jones said. “But, yes, I, like everybody, would like for it to go away.”