Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott jumped head first into the NFL’s controversial national anthem protest, rejecting the display as inappropriate.
Speaking to reporters at Cowboys training camp on Friday, Prescott declared, “I’d never protest during the anthem, and I don’t think that’s the time or the venue to do so.”
Watch the interview below:
“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,” he said. “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.”
Prescott he obviously supports taking steps to combat “social injustice,” but it’s more important to take action rather than use controversy to get attention.
"I’m up for taking a next step, whatever that step may be for action and not just kneeling," he said, adding, "and you can count me in if we can find something worth the action to do so that will help fix it,” he added.
However, the quarterback also supported his fellow NFL players’ right to protest if they think it’s making a difference.
"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,” Prescott said.
Last week, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones revealed he would make it mandatory for his players to stand for the national anthem during the upcoming season. It's unclear how severe of a punishment players will face if they defy the requirement.