A Cowboys player who defied a team ban on national anthem protests issued by owner Jerry Jones by raising hands at an NFL game has been terminated from his job.
Damontre Moore, who contends his act wasn’t disrespectful, was nonetheless cut. His spot on the team will be taken by kicker Mike Nugent.
In October, Jones issued a blunt message to players that refuse to stand for national anthem:
Jerry on the anthem protests. Damontre Moore and David Irving raised a fist after the anthem pic.twitter.com/EIvqTBaBdS
— Jean-Jacques Taylor (@JJT_Journalist) October 9, 2017
The Cowboys’ coach Jason Garrett stated publicly that cutting Moore was a “roster move” and the “best decision for our team,” as reported by NBC sports.
Damontre Moore was one of two players to make the raised fist gesture, along with defensive tackle David Irving, who the team earlier this year suspended for four games without pay after failing a drug test.
When asked about his raised fist gesture, Damontre Moore was adamant he meant no disrespect.
“I’ve got a lot of family members that are in the military,” he said. “My brother just got done serving a tour. He was over there, stationed in Germany, both my granddads, my granddad and my stepdad, was heavily involved in the military. I’ve got other family members who are.”
“So, for me,” he continued, “I don’t feel like it’s disrespecting it. Everybody is entitled to their opinion. Who is to say I’m right? Who is to say they’re wrong? Who’s to say that they’re right? Who’s to say that I’m wrong? At the end of the day, you do whatever you do, but I know I am going to stand up and not disrespect the flag like that. I don’t do anything to cause unwanted attention during that process, so whatever I do afterwards, I don’t feel like it should matter honestly.”
Whether or not it “matters” can only be known to Jerry Jones, who has a reputation as a bull-headed owner who doesn’t take open defiance lightly. Regardless, NFL players need to be put on notice: They’re always entitled to their political opinion, they should just express them off the football field.