Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Dontari Poe is planning to kneel during the national anthem this season. Poe talked to reporters over the weekend and said he's looking to protest when the Cowboys kickoff the 2020 season next month. However, he will need to speak with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones about kneeling as it's something that he has prohibited his players from doing.
"Yeah I do still plan on kneeling," Poe said per USA Today, "but we haven't had the conversation yet. "Not saying that anybody else is wrong for not doing it or whatever their cause is. But I just felt like I just wanted to do it for me and the statement I wanted to make." Poe also talked about the team meeting they had with Jones. One of the things Jones mentioned was the players can talk to him about anything.
"Told us he had an open door for us to talk to him at any time," Poe said, "so I look forward to taking advantage of that and just getting in his ear and seeing how he's feeling about it." Over the years, Jones has had a "toe on the line," no-kneeling stance. However, when talking to reporters earlier this month, Jones hasn't made a decision for the 2020 season due to the Black Lives Matter movement.
"We've asked for all of this interest, and we've asked for our players to give everything they've got," Jones said. "I want to sit down when I have an issue and I have a decision to make; I want to show the world that I can do it with grace and come up with the right solution."
The only time Jones kneeled while on the field was back in 2017 shortly after President Donald Trump's comments on being strongly against players kneeling during the anthem. Before the start of the song, Jones and his players took a knee. Jones and the players then stood up as soon as the anthem began.
"We cannot in any way give the implication that we tolerate disrespecting the flag," Jones stated at the time. "We know that there is a serious debate in this country about those issues, but there is no question in my mind, that the [NFL] and the Dallas Cowboys are going to stand up for the flag."