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NFL owners admit Trump swayed anthem discussion in Kaepernick depositions

When the NFL announced its new anthem policy, which requires players who chose to come out on the field during the playing of the anthem to “stand and show respect” during its playing, President Donald Trump celebrated the news as if it were a personal victory.

According to the depositions of Jerry Jones and Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, obtained by the Wall Street Journal, the president may have been justified. The two owners admitted that Trump’s comments on NFL player protests changed their thinking.

Via The Wall Street Journal:

“I was totally supportive of [the players] until Trump made his statement,” Stephen Ross, the Miami Dolphins’ owner and creator of programs advocating for social justice, said in his deposition. Noting that owners’ conversations with Mr. Trump were relayed during a league meeting, he said: “I thought he changed the dialogue.”

Jones said he personally spoke with Trump about the issue…

“This is a very winning, strong issue for me,” Mr. Trump said in a phone call, according to a sworn deposition given by Mr. Jones and reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. “Tell everybody, you can’t win this one. This one lifts me.”

But Jones was reluctant to give Trump too much credit for influencing the league…

“Let’s [not] give him that much credit,” he said. “But I recognize he’s the president of the United States.”

However, Jones did tell Sports Illustrated last week “[Trump] certainly initiated some of the thinking, and was a part of the entire picture.”

Trump, himself, did not take full credit for the NFL’s new policy after it was revealed, although he does seem to consider himself the catalyst for the rule.

“I think the people pushed it forward, this was not me. I brought it out. I think the people pushed it forward,” Trump told Fox News last week.

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