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Cowboys DT Dontrai Poe Says He’ll Kneel for the Anthem in 2020

Cowboys defensive tackle Dontrai Poe said he will kneel during the playing of the national anthem to protest police brutality and raise awareness for social justice, Calvin Watkins of the Dallas Morning News reports. 

Poe will talk with Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones about it soon.

“Yeah, I do still plan on kneeling, but we haven’t had the conversation yet,” Poe said Sunday. “But we had a team meeting where he kinda expressed a couple of feelings, and he always told us he had an open door for us to talk to him at any time. So I look forward to taking advantage of that and just getting in his ear and seeing how he’s feeling about it.”

Whether you agree or not, the issue of NFL players fighting against racism and police brutality isn’t going away. It seems NFL players don’t care if you don’t plan on watching, because the issue is bigger than whether a television network gets big ratings.

NBA players and coaches continue to kneel and wear statements fighting for social justice on their jerseys in the playoffs. Two weeks ago, players from FC Dallas knelt during the national anthem and were booed in the same town the Cowboys train in.

This summer, several Cowboys players expressed outrage, privately and publicly, when George Floyd, a Black man in Minneapolis, was killed by a white police officer. The protests across the country and statements made by athletes from numerous sports called for change in the criminal justice system and police reform.

Jones approved a video statement by the Cowboys to support social justice reform. Several Cowboys players including Dak Prescott, DeMarcus Lawrence and Ezekiel Elliott offered support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

The next step seemed logical for some, that once the 2020 season begins, Cowboys players would take a knee during the anthem to continue the protests.

No Cowboys player has knelt with the national anthem playing. In 2016, when then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick knelt during the anthem, Jones asked his players not to. Some on the outside believed this was a direct order despite Jones’ lack of authority to stop a player from kneeling. The consequence of kneeling is Jones has the power to release a player. But say a highly priced, highly valued player knelt. Would Jones really cut that player? Trade him?

It seemed no player wanted to challenge Jones’ edict, especially when he expressed his hope that players would have their “toes on the line” during the anthem.

Jones is passionate and loyal about supporting his players for whatever causes they care about. He encouraged players to educate themselves about fighting for social justice. During an Aug. 13 video conference call, Jones said he didn’t have anything to prove about his own beliefs or support for his players.


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