Author and cartoonist Scott Adams released a video in which he praised President Donald Trump’s Tuesday tweet about NFL players’ behavior before a game. While numerous NFL players on various teams have sought to show their repudiation of the president by kneeling during the playing of the National Anthem before weekend games, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones joined his team on Monday in taking a knee before the National Anthem. But for the playing of the anthem, both the Cowboys and the Arizona Cardinals players stood with arms locked just ahead of the "Monday Night Football" kickoff.
Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant and running back Ezekiel Elliott said their team was sending a message to Trump, who has responded in several tweets about the players who refuse to stand during the anthem. Bryant said, "That was a clear shot at Trump," Bryant said, adding that it showed unity. For his part, Cowboys owner Jones hailed his players, saying that they showed respect for the American flag. Saying that “unity” and “equality” are both important, he praised his players for showing respect for both.
On Tuesday morning, after the Dallas victory, Trump tweeted, "The booing at the NFL football game last night, when the entire Dallas team dropped to its knees, was loudest I have ever heard. Great anger." As Adams noted, that tweet was followed by, “But while Dallas dropped to its knees as a team, they all stood up for our National Anthem. Big progress being made-we all love our country!" Later in the day, he reiterated his call for the NFL to ban players from kneeling during the National Anthem.
“The key word there is ‘progress,’” said Adams, in reference to Trump’s tweet about the NFL players. Having noted that the players knelt in protest but then stood for the anthem, Adams said, “The president, cleverly, he tweets and calls this ‘progress.’ It’s progress. In other words, people are moving in his direction. So, at the same time you saw these people kneeling to protest their point, you’re seeing that the president’s preference...got closer on Monday, it didn’t further."
Noting that the various NFL fumbled on Sunday in their various approaches to honoring or not honoring the National Anthem, Adams said, what the Cowboys did resulted in good feelings and even increased ratings. When other NFL teams contemplate what they should do at future games, Adams asks “How can they do any different than what the Cowboys did?”
“The Cowboys got the protest. They got the patriotism, and they didn’t get away from either of them,” said Adams. The result, predicted Adams, is that the other NFL teams will have to follow suit. It will be hard for the other teams if they decide to do other than what the Cowboys accomplished. “The Cowboys set the standard. The entire team stood for the anthem, and nobody was mad about it. Can’t beat that! They got the high ground, they got the protest, and they got the respect for the country.” If the other NFL teams do not follow the Cowboys suit, they will have to show “progress” toward Trump’s position, Adams predicted, or they will be viewed negatively.
Cowboys owner Jones “cleverly” found a “graceful out,” said Adams of the handling of the protest and standing for the anthem. By framing the Cowboys maneuver as “progress,” Adams said that Trump exhibited “solid gold persuasion.” Adams said that things are “unambiguously” going in Trump’s direction: “all he asked,” said Adams, is for players to stand during the National Anthem.
Adams reiterated that “people are more influenced by the direction of things than where things are at the moment.” He recalled that despite early predictions that Trump was a political neophyte, Trump went on to defeat the “Bush dynasty,” “the Clinton dynasty,” and the entire field of Republican presidential candidates, and then remade the Supreme Court and has gone on to make headway in lower courts. For those who dismissed Trump’s intervention in the NFL imbroglio, Adams said “You just watched on Monday night, he made the entire team stand for the National Anthem. Okay, that’s all him.”
Adams said that even while many of the NFL players may still dislike Trump when Sunday’s football games are broadcast, they will probably stand for the anthem, “Because the country wants you to,” and Trump’s persuasive techniques.
Adams is the well-known originator of the 'Dilbert' cartoon strip. He is also the author of "Win Bigly", which describes his theories of persuasion and interpersonal relations.