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Cowboys owner Jerry Jones kneels with players before national anthem in Arizona

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and his team kneeled prior to the national anthem Monday night as a sign of solidarity with the rest of the NFL, capping off a weekend defined by symbolic protests against President Trump.

The primetime Monday Night Football matchup between the Cowboys and Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium was the last game on the NFL's schedule for the third week of the season following Mr. Trump's comments on Friday, when he suggested owners should fire players who kneel during the national anthem.

On Monday night, Jerry Jones, a known Trump supporter, linked arms and took a knee with the Cowboys for nearly 20 seconds before the national anthem, drawing ire from the home crowd in Arizona who profusely booed the team. During singer Jordin Sparks' rendition of the anthem, the Cowboys stood up while the Cardinals players interlocked arms with members of the military. 

jerry jones kneels
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones kneels with players prior to the national anthem prior to the game against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium on Mon., Sept. 25, 2017. Reuters

The NFL tweeted Monday night a video that shows the moment of unity from both teams:

Before the game, Dallas Cowboys executive vice president Charlotte Jones Anderson told ESPN's Lisa Salters the team would take a knee as "a statement on equality and representation of unity" but the "players were adamant about separating that message from the national anthem."  

The White House on Monday defended President Trump's criticism of players who don't stand up for the anthem.

"I think that it's always appropriate for the president of the United States to defend our flag, to defend the national anthem and to the defend the men and women who fought and died to defend it," White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.

"Huge divide" over NFL anthem protests 04:39

NFL players and executives alike banded together on Sunday by kneeling, raising fists, locking arms or staying in the locker room during the "Star-Spangled Banner" in defiance of Mr. Trump's remarks. Reaction to the president's comments and the league wide-protest in the NFL spilled over to the rest of the sports world, where prominent athletes such as NBA champion LeBron James and NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt Jr. weighed in on the controversy.

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who remains unsigned, started the kneeling movement in 2016 to protest racial injustice in America.

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