“I have made a call,” Irving said, adding, “You’ll just have to wait till Sunday [to see what].”
What is certain is that Irving doesn’t plan on doing anything that might “disrespect the flag,” which means kneeling, an action Jones expressly forbid after President Trump called on owners to fire players who didn’t stand for the anthem, likely remains out of the question.
Irving, however, remained coy about even that Saturday, telling Star-Telegram reporter Drew Davison, who asked if he had consider kneeling, “I can’t say, man.”
Judging from past precedent, what Irving might do is raise a fist after the anthem. He and fellow defensive end Damontre Moore did that ahead of the team’s Oct. 8 game against the Green Bay Packers.
The issue of protesting during the national anthem emerged ahead of the 2016 season when former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick sat, then began to kneel during its playing to draw attention to police brutality among minority communities. The issue made headlines again after Trump began to voice his disapproval of the practice in speeches and on Twitter.
The NFL, meanwhile, has remained mostly ambivalent on the subject as fans remain starkly divided. During two days of meetings earlier this week, owners said they would rather players stand for the anthem but did not threaten the jobs of those who don’t.
The meetings elicited more Twitter activity from Trump, with the president accusing the NFL of lacking respect for the country.
Jones, meanwhile, has escaped Trump’s wrath online. Earlier this month, after Jones threatened to bench players who didn’t stand for the anthem, Trump offered him “a big salute” on Twitter.