Amidst the #takeaknee movement that’s been sweeping football stadiums since President Donald Trump denounced NFL players who protest the national anthem, the Dallas Cowboys have declared their stance in the controversy.
During Monday night’s football game, “America’s Team“—as well as its owner, Jerry Jones, and coach Jason Garrett—collectively took a knee before the national anthem was recited. The team stood and locked arms during the actual anthem.
While kneeling was originally intended as a symbol of protest against racial injustice, Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant said his team’s decision was a response to Trump’s attack on the league Friday
“I feel like that’s the true definition of unity,” Bryant said. “Trump can’t divide this.”
Jones echoed a similar sentiment.
“Our players wanted to make a statement about unity and we wanted to make a statement about equality,” Jones said at the post-game news conference. “They were very much aware that statement, when made or when attempted to be made in and a part of the recognition of our flag, cannot only lead to criticism but also controversy.”
Trump praised the team’s decision to stand during the anthem on Twitter.