Dak Prescott will stand for the national anthem, as he has his entire career.
The Cowboys quarterback said Friday that raising awareness about social injustice has happened. Now, it’s about taking a “next step” with “action” rather than taking a knee.
“I’d never protest during anthem, and I don’t think that’s the time or the venue to do so,” Prescott said. “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. 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 said he respects players’ right to protest during the anthem, but he wants to see something more substantial. He said he’s “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.”
“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. 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.”
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said this week the Cowboys have a team policy that is clear: Players will stand for the anthem “toe on the line.” Executive vice president Stephen Jones made it even more clear in a radio interview Thursday on 1310-AM The Ticket: Standing for the anthem is a requirement, not a request for Cowboys players.
The Cowboys are one of the few teams never to have had a player protest during the national anthem, and they won’t have one start this year.
“It has no affect to me,” Prescott said of the team policy, “because 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.”