Dale Hansen, a popular sports anchor in Dallas who has become known for his blistering commentaries about the NFL and President Trump, has a new target: Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.
Following Jones' decision to align with President Trump and threaten to cut Cowboys players who refuse to stand with their "toe on the line" during the playing of the national anthem, Hansen pointed out that Jones has made no such threats over the years to cut players who have engaged in illegal behavior.
"It's incredible to me that a player can beat up a woman and play for the Dallas Cowboys. A player can use illegal drugs time and time again and still play, but you take a knee to protest the racial injustice in America, and now you've crossed a line that he will not allow," Hansen said Monday night in his latest commentary for Dallas ABC affiliate WFAA, where he's worked for more than 30 years.
The comments about domestic violence appeared to be referring to the Cowboys' decision to sign Greg Hardy back in 2015, which Jones defended despite the former defensive lineman's conviction for assaulting and threatening his ex-girlfriend. Hansen was among the loudest critics of the signing, telling viewers, "Now you can beat a woman and play with a star on your helmet."
Hansen also mocked Jones for wearing his hat and talking as the national anthem was being played during Cowboys practice on Saturday. Though there is no law against wearing a hat (or kneeling) as the national anthem is played, the U.S. code says people should remove their hats and hold it over their hearts.
"Jones loves and respects the national anthem so much that when it was being played before the start of practice Saturday, he left his cap on," Hansen said. "And when he was told about the mistake he was making, he still left his cap on. He who makes the rules, apparently doesn't have to follow them."
Hansen isn't the only Dallas anchor to call out Jones' comments about players who choose to protest racial injustice during the national anthem. Mike Doocy, a sports reporter for Dallas's Fox affiliate, called off an interview with Jones after he was told he wasn't allowed to ask the Cowboys owner any questions about the team's national anthem policy.
"Jerry had first said he wouldn't talk about, and then said the NFL told him he couldn't talk about it," Doocy said Monday night. "I just felt like I couldn't go through the interview at that point, and doing the interview while not asking him about that, I just couldn't do that especially given the late warning I got in this case."
Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins, who has been outspoken on the issue of racial injustice, called Jones a "bully" and said he wished Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie would speak up in opposition to the idea that players should be forced to stand during the national anthem.
"I don't see Jeffrey as a bully, like Jerry Jones is. Lucky for me, I don't play for the Cowboys, nor would I want to," Jenkins told my colleague Les Bowen. "The longer Jerry Jones wants to say stupid stuff in the media about how he wants to bully his players, great, you guys will bring cameras to me and I'll talk about how police brutality needs to end, how we need to end mass incarceration, and how we need to have better school systems for our kids and inner-city youth."
Back in March, owners voted to allow players who wished to protest to remain in the locker room during the playing of the national anthem. But that policy is currently on hold as the league engages in discussions with the NFL Players Association to resolve an issue that has become a political minefield, thanks in part to President Trump's comments.