Dallas Cowboys quarterback: Anthem protesting ‘takes away from the joy’ of football
The quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys said Friday that team owner Jerry Jones’s policy on standing during performances of the national anthem would not affect him because he would “never” protest during the anthem’s performance.
Dak Prescott told reporters that the performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner” before games was not the “time or venue” for player-led protests against police brutality and racism.
“It has no affect to me because I do exactly what I’m doing and what I’ve said and what I stand by,” Prescott said of the policy. “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.”
“I’d never protest during the anthem, and I don’t think that’s the time or the venue to do so,” he added. “The game of football has always brought me such peace, and I think it does the same for a lot of people.”
Prescott added that bringing “controversy” into football games lessens the experience for both players and fans.
“[W]hen you bring such a controversy to the stadium, to the field, to the game, it takes away … from that,” he said. “It takes away from the joy and the love that football brings a lot of people.”
In the interview, Prescott appeared to say that the need to raise awareness of policing issues and other social justice causes had been achieved, meaning the protests could end.
“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,” Prescott said. “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.”
The NFL anthem controversy reignited this month when the league, facing a challenge from the NFL players’ union, announced it would halt its new policy requiring players to stand on the sidelines during the performance.
President Trump has frequently attacked the league over the protests, and has called on commissioner Roger Goodell to fire players who participate.