Jones told ESPN that the flag policy has been in effect since last season when players across the NFL began kneeling during the national anthem, following Kaepernick's example.
The heated debate over NFL protests during the national anthem have permeated into the world of music, where several musicians have been very vocal over their stances on the trend of kneeling during "The Star Spangled Banner", in order to protest racial injustice.
I can't wait until @jemelehill gets a platform in which she can give her unfiltered opinion. Another said they had a better feeling for Jones' comments because at first he wondered if Jones had turned against them, according to the source.
Wade Rathke, chief organizer of Local 100, said that Jones' threat violates the National Labor Relations Act of 1935, which allows employees "to engage in protected concerted activities for the objective of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection".
The wave of protests, which has spread to other U.S. sports leagues, was launched by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in 2016, when he refused to stand for the national anthem.
ESPN's Josina Anderson tweeted out quotes from one anonymous player who seems apoplectic.
Tony Covington, a former National Football League player who now serves as Senior Director of Corporate Affairs for the NAACP, deemed Jones' comments as "more than tone-deaf, more than misinformed and misguided" in an official statement. If they are taking a knee in protest of something the owner has done to them, and it being connected to the conditions of employment, then they might have a case.
Some states have their own First Amendment-style protections, and they can include protection of political speech, Tushnet said.
The union's chief organizer Wade Rathke said Jones is bullying his employees to "unilaterally establish a previously nonexistent" work condition.
Rathke said there is no distinction between benching a player for a game or firing him outright by releasing him.
"It's a threat and you can't threaten someone's job for concerted activity. Mr. Jones just got carried away being a rich guy and there's no laws he has to respect". I know in the modern age people think workers shouldn't have rights, but they still do.