Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said he expects the team to host fans at his home games this fall and directed his current view of the national anthem protests in his first public comments of the 2020 season on Wednesday.
Jones, 77, declined to estimate how many fans could be allowed to attend the games in person at AT&T Stadium, which has a maximum capacity of over 100,000 under normal conditions. However, the longtime owner of the Cowboys expressed confidence in the team’s ability to maintain a safe environment for the home crowd at his art facility.
“The Dallas Cowboys plan to play football, and we plan to play in front of our fans,”; Jones said during a virtual press conference from the Cowboys training camp. “I think it’s important. I think it’s important individually. I think it’s important for the country.”
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Jones noted that the Cowboys “will adhere to all protocols” and “adapt them to the uniqueness of our stadium” in order to expect a crowd. Earlier, the franchise announced it would curb season ticket packages for the 2020 season and limit capacity at AT&T Stadium to comply with local public health guidelines.
A number of NFL teams, including the New York Jets and New York Giants, are expected to play without any fans in attendance this fall. The NFL announced earlier this summer that any fans allowed to participate in the games will be required to wear face masks.
“We will have our challenges, the people who will be there will be there of their own free will just as the players who are on the field for the Cowboys are here because they have chosen to be here,” Jones added. “Our fans will be in the stadium because they have chosen to be there.”
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Jones also addressed the possibility of players’s national anthem protests this season following nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd.
The Cowboys have a long policy that players must stand for the anthem before games. Jones did not say whether that policy would remain in effect this season, but he noted that he will work with the players to design the team’s approach to the situation, given the ongoing protests against racial injustice.
“I have nothing to prove as long as I’m standing by the flag and where the Cowboys stand,” Jones said. “I have nothing to prove about my players and my support for the players. What I want to show and be a part of is a word called ‘grace’. Not just grace in our actions, but grace to understand. where they are coming from. “
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