Cowboys, Cardinals players lock arms during anthem

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Dallas Cowboys players and owner Jerry Jones locked arms and briefly took a knee on the field Monday night before standing on the sideline throughout the playing of the national anthem.

The Cowboys' players, with executive Stephen Jones and coach Jason Garrett among them, stood on the side of the field with locked arms just behind an American flag, which covered the field before the team's 28-17 victory over the Arizona Cardinals.

Jones said the decision to kneel before the anthem was made after discussions between players, coaches and ownership.

"The reason that I'm particularly proud of this team and the coaches ... is because we all agreed our players wanted to make a statement about unity and we wanted to make a statement about equality," Jones said. "So to their credit, [all the] players, coaching staff, our organization, said let's first walk out there ... and basically stand for and make the statement regarding the need for unity and the need for equality. Then we immediately stood up and walked over to the sideline."

Jones went on to say he believed it was important that the team stood for the flag when it was presented on the field before the game.

"I'm very proud of the fact that the Dallas Cowboys and our players have always stood -- always -- stood for the flag," Jones said.

The Cardinals' players and staff performed a similar gesture during the anthem, locking arms as one with owner Michael Bidwill and coach Bruce Arians among them while standing near the end zone. Arians said after the game the players made the decision to lock arms in the end zone during the national anthem after discussing it in a team meeting.

"Everybody has a different opinion," Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald said after the game. "You get 60 guys from different religions, different backgrounds, different races together, there's going to be some differences of opinion. But the thing I liked about it is we were able to stick together as a unit, and that's what it's about.

"I think the guys on this team all respect each other. They understand the climate that we're living in now with the things that are being said."

The display comes three days after President Trump stated at a political rally in Alabama that team owners should fire players who fail to stand for the national anthem prior to games. The NFL, NFL Players Association and league owners have issued responses to Trump's statements. Players in every game Sunday took part in protests and displays of solidarity during the anthem before games.

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