As the newest wave of anthem-related controversy engulfs the NFL — this time based on the league’s freeze of its new policy that limits anthem protests to the locker room and Dallas Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones insisting that his players stand for “The Star-Spangled Banner” — one of the Cowboys’ biggest stars said the football field isn’t the place for protests and that he’s “for action and not just kneeling.”
Dak Prescott, starting quarterback for the Cowboys, made the remarks in a news conference Friday.
“I’d never protest during anthem, and I don’t think that’s the time or the venue to do so,” Prescott 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.”
“For me, I’m all about making a chance and making a difference,” he added.
“I think 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. I’m up for taking a next step, whatever that step may be for action and not just kneeling.
“I’ve always believed in standing up for what I believe in, and that’s what I’m going to continue to do.”
Prescott, who earned a Pro Bowl selection during his rookie year in the league back in 2016, said he was “all for making a difference, and you can count me in if we can find something worth the action to do so that will help fix it.”
However, he said the place for that wasn’t on the football field.
“I respect what all those guys believe in,” Prescott said.
“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. It’s not about taking a knee. It’s not necessarily about standing.
“We can find a different place to make our country better,” he continued. “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.”
Prescott isn’t the only Cowboys star speaking out in favor of owner Jerry Jones’ insistence that the team stand with their “toe on the line” during the anthem. Running back Ezekiel Elliott also told reporters the decision was indicative of the kind of franchise the Cowboys are.
“Us as a team, we chose to stand together for the national anthem,” Elliott said. “It was our decision. I think it just shows our culture. It shows that we have unity. We’re going to stand as one. That’s not knocking anyone else who may choose to kneel during the national anthem. But we’re the Dallas Football Cowboys, America’s Team. We stand for the national anthem.”
Prescott and Elliott aren’t the only major figures praising Jones’ stance. The nation’s most vocal critic of anthem protesting — the president — also tweeted in favor of the Cowboys’ policy.
“Way to go Jerry,” Trump tweeted on Friday. “This is what the league should do!”
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