Star Running Back Stuns the NFL With Pro-America Statement: 'We Stand for the Anthem'
Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott became the latest star on the team to back owner Jerry Jones’ policy against protesting the national anthem, saying that his team is “going to stand as one.”
Jones made national news last week when he said that in spite of the NFL’s decision to pause its enforcement of a new policy that prohibited anthem protests on the field, his team would “stand during the anthem, toe on the line.”
Interviewed by the media on Friday, Elliott stood by the team’s pro-anthem policy.
“Us as a team, we chose to stand together for the national anthem,” he said, according to the Dallas Morning News. “It was our decision.”
“I think it just shows our culture,” Elliott continued. “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.”
Elliott was the second major Cowboys star to come out for the team’s new policy. Also on Friday, quarterback Dak Prescott said that he preferred taking “action” rather than taking a knee for the anthem.
“I’d never protest during anthem, and I don’t think that’s the time or the venue to do so,” Prescott told reporters, 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.
“I respect what all those guys believe in,” Prescott added. “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. 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.”
Elliott and Prescott represent the two biggest names on the Cowboys. Both made the Pro Bowl as rookies in 2016. While they had a less-successful sophomore season — something that was compounded by Elliott serving a long suspension due to allegations of domestic violence — they still represent the two best players for Dallas.
Jones has come under fire from those supporting anthem protesters, including Malcolm Jenkins of the Philadelphia Eagles, who called the Cowboys owner a “bully.”
“Jeffrey has been very supportive of us from the beginning,” Jenkins said of Philadelphia chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie, according to ESPN.
“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. I think it’s unfortunate that you have owners like him that use his position to intimidate and intentionally thwart even the idea of his players thinking individually or having a voice about issues that affect their communities daily, which is unfortunate. But for them, hopefully you’ll have guys challenge that, and they’ll have my full support.”
Apparently, however, not everyone sees Jones as a bully — and most importantly, that includes the two brightest stars on Jones’ team.
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