Hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside of AT&T Stadium on Sunday night to kneel in solidarity with former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick and the players who have continued to kneel during the national anthem.
The Coalition for Justice and Justice For All Movement wants to “reclaim the narrative” about why NFL players and others are kneeling during the National Anthem, according to Pastor Freddy Haynes.
“This stadium is owned by Jerry Jones, a brilliant owner, a patriot I believe, but at the same time one who doesn't allow others to express their patriotism,” Haynes said. “This isn’t about the flag, it’s about police brutality."
The pastor is referencing Jones’ steadfast belief that players should stand during the anthem. Last month, Jones said he would bench any player who “disrespects the flag,” insinuating that his players shouldn't participate in protests during the anthem.
No individual Cowboys player has taken a knee for the anthem before or after Jones’ comments. Defensive end David Irving has held up a fist at the conclusion of the anthem on multiple occasions.
The whole team took a knee prior to the singing of the national anthem on Monday Night Football in Week 3, following divisive comments on the subject from President Trump.
When the anthem played inside of the stadium before the game Sunday, Haynes led a large group of protestors by the Tom Landry statue. Some raised their fists, while nearly everyone kneeled before reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.
“Let’s focus on police reform, let’s focus on criminal justice reform, let’s focus on ending mass incarceration,” said Haynes.
Ahead of the demonstration, hundreds packed the pews at Friendship-West Baptist Church for a prayer rally. Participants were then bused to the stadium in Arlington.
Arlington police, as well as private security, kept a close watch over the demonstrators. No issues were reported.