Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott is under attack on social media for saying that the national anthem is not the time or the place to protest social injustice and he would not be taking part in the act.
His words ignited a firestorm on social media, but Prescott says he respects differing opinions, just as his should be respected.
“You get on social media, you see it,” Prescott told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “It doesn’t bother me. I said what I said. You have an opinion. Everyone else has an opinion. They are entitled to it as well. I accepted what they said and respect it. They should respect mine.”
It’s likely that much of the backlash has to do with team owner Jerry Jones, however, and his inflexible new directive that states his players will not be given the option of remaining in the locker room to protest as NFL policy states. Jones says his Cowboys will stand during the national anthem “to to line.”
Prescott may have fanned the flames with his response to Jones’ comments, though.
“It has no effect to me 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 or whether I was playing for Jerry Jones, Stephen Jones or any other owner,” Prescott said. “I believe in what I believe in, and that’s that.”
But the third-year player says he wants people to understand that while he may disagree with the protest, he does recognize that racism and social injustice exist.
“I never said I didn’t believe in social injustice and things that were going on,” Prescott said. “I just said I didn’t think that the national anthem was the time…I respect everybody. And power to the people that kneel. That is what they believe in and they should be able to kneel…”