Dak Prescott’s third season as the starting quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys is supposed to be about his ability to bounce back from a “sophomore slump.” All eyes are on Prescott – with analysts watching his every move during practice, tut-tutting at every missed throw, and wondering if the Cowboys got it right when they put Tony Romo out to pasture in exchange for Prescott.
It’s the life of being quarterback for America’s Team – a team which hasn’t won a Super Bowl in over 20 years, and has been awful in the postseason and up and down in the regular season.
Prescott’s current ‘problem’ – which really isn’t a problem – is the fact he, as a biracial NFL player, has no plans to defy Cowboys owner Jerry Jones (aka his boss) and kneel during the National Anthem.
Here’s the key phrase from Prescott (emphasis mine):
For me, I’m all about making a change and making a difference, and I think this whole kneeling and all of that was just about 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, we know the social injustice, I’m up for taking the next step whatever the next step may be for action and not just kneeling. I’ve always believed standing up for what I believe in, and that’s what I’m going to continue to do.
The online Polizei jumped.
New York Daily News columnist Carron J. Phillips accused Prescott of being “happy being a lemonade serving house negro,” while Oakland/Las Vegas Raiders linebacker Tahir Whitehead suggested Prescott was looking at the money. New England Patriots safety Brandon King tweeted Prescott was making a lot of enemies, while ESPN devoted almost eleven minutes over two days to the topic. Someone in Dallas even did a mural putting Prescott in Daniel Kaluuya’s role from Get Out – complete with tears and terror. That mural ended being defaced by some self-proclaimed art critic.
I fail to see the controversy – and I have no problems with NFL players dropping to one knee or raising a fist to raise awareness about what they believe is social injustice. Prescott didn’t say he believed the protests shouldn’t happen or suggest it was un-American – very much unlike the current denizen in the White House. Prescott simply opined that actions were more important than words, or in this case, kneeling. Ezekiel Elliott made similar comments regarding the anthem, as did former Cowboy Dez Bryant.
The NFL’s response to kneeling players is well-documented with supporters and opponents grabbing rhetorical weapons and going to war over what to do. It appears no one is really interested in middle ground or understanding regarding what’s being protested. It isn’t the flag itself, but the perception of racial injustice and police brutality towards minorities. The protests are unlike the so-called antifa protests – which descend into violence – or the riots in Ferguson and Baltimore (which, while indefensible, are understandable given the situation both communities faced).
The failure in all this is the inability of either side to actually be willing to sit down and discuss the issues. I’m not talking about politicians holding some public roundtable meant to secure votes, but actual talks between individuals of different races.
How about, instead of seeing one side only filled with thugs and social justice warriors and the other side only full of “plantation owners” and “house negroes,” we try to get to know each other and see things from the opposing view? That’s what I believe Prescott is advocating, and it would be nice if more people followed his example.