Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott offered one of the most rational takes on the national anthem protest we’ve heard since then-San Francisco QB Colin Kaepernick first turned the league upside down by taking a knee and slandering law enforcement in the name of social justice.
Prescott (along with the rest of the Cowboys players) has never taken a knee during the national anthem. In fact, he says he would never protest during the anthem. But if those who kneel really are invested in making a difference, it’s time for them to actually walk the walk and take some action, says Prescott.
“I’d never protest during anthem, and I don’t think that’s the time or the venue to do so,” the QB said, according to NBC Sports. “The game of football has always brought me such a peace, and I think it does the same for a lot of people — a lot of people playing the game, a lot of people watching the game, a lot of people that have any impact of the game. So when you bring such a controversy to the stadium, to the field, to the game, it takes away … from that. It takes away from the joy and the love that football brings a lot of people.”
“I’m all about making a chance and making a difference,” continued Prescott, but “this whole kneeling, and all of that, was all about just raising awareness, and the fact that we’re still talking about social injustice years later, I think we’ve gotten to that point. I think we’ve proved it. We know about social injustice.”
What the young NFL star wants now is action. “I’m up for taking a next step, whatever that step may be for action and not just kneeling,” he said, adding, “and you can count me in if we can find something worth the action to do so that will help fix it.”
Prescott noted that he respects other players’ beliefs but reiterated that, for him, it’s about action — not a “silent protest.”
“If they believe it’s going to make a change, and it’s making a difference, then power to them. But for me, I think it’s about [taking] action,” he explained. “It’s not about taking a knee. It’s not necessarily about standing. We can find a different place to make our country better. Obviously as I said, I’m not naïve. I’m very aware of the social injustice we have going on, but I’m about the actions we can do to fix it rather than the silent protest.”
Earlier in the week, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said all his players will stand for the anthem come the fall. Executive vice president Stephen Jones echoed the same, making clear that standing for the anthem is not a request for players, but a requirement.
The policy changes nothing for Prescott. “It has no affect to me,” he said.
“I do exactly what I’m doing and what I’ve said and what I stand by. Whether I was wearing the star or not, whether I was playing for Jerry Jones, Stephen Jones or any other owner. I believe in what I believe in, and that’s that,” Prescott said.
“I’ve always believed in standing up for what I believe in, and that’s what I’m going to continue to do.”