President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he spoke with Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, saying that the "players will stand for country" after Jones and his team took a knee before the national anthem on Monday.
Last weekend Trump attacked NFL players on Twitter for kneeling during the anthem before games. This week, the Cowboys knelt before playing the Arizona Cardinals in what wide receiver Dez Bryant called "a clear shot at Trump," according to CNN.
"We showed great unity tonight, and that's what that was for. I feel like that was needed," he added.
Running back Ezekiel Elliott said, "We don't agree at all with what the president said, and we just wanted to show that we weren't going to be divided by that."
Jones, who has shared criticism for the practice in the past, applauded his team for their unity.
"We want to stand and respect the flag," he said. "Nothing we did tonight says anything other than that, but we also, as a complete team . . . want to be able to, when we can, demonstrate that unity is important and equality is important. So, the thing that I'm so proud of these guys for, they did both."
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