I’ve said before that I’m a proponent of saying less when you have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about. This is probably why Cowboys’ quarterback Dak Prescott’s comments in regards to the anthem are so alarming to me. It’s not even that his differing opinion is shocking. After all, this is the same guy who once told USA Today that he felt like he could relate to his teammates better because he’s biracial. I’m truly just baffled as to why he would make any sort of an in depth statement at all when he is so painfully unaware. What do you mean this isn’t the venue for protest? There is no venue or time where it is inappropriate to oppose black people being hunted and gunned down like animals by those who are sworn to serve and protect. Being about action over protest? How can you talk about action when you haven’t done anything towards the cause while many of your NFL compadres have been donating their time, money and resources toward these issues and protesting.
Now let me be clear. I understand how the NFL works. I’m aware that for most players, challenging the views of the majority of football fans -- who happen to be middle aged, conservative and Caucasian -- and ownership could end with a trip to the unemployment line. This is not the case for Prescott, who as a franchises starting quarterback, is ensured more job security because of a shallow pool of footballers with the necessary package to play the position a high level. I’m also well aware that Dak (who is in a contract year) thinks he’s “looking out for his future” by echoing the rhetoric of team owner Jerry Jones. Listen bruh, you doubling down on racist rhetoric to get the approval from your owner, Sarah Palin, Tomi Lahren and all the other people who look at you as nothing more than an obedient negro isn’t going to make you enticing to any more sponsors and it damn sure isn’t going to improve your lack of arm strength or help you beat 50-year-old Jason Garrett in an accuracy competition. Trust me, star athletes who choose to take a social stance make endorsement money all the time and tap dancing usually puts you on the wrong side of history. Just ask the people who opposed Muhammad Ali’s stance on participating in the war.
As an athlete you’re given a platform that comes with responsibilities on the field and off. Though held to an unfairly high standard, these human beings are expected to be better than the norm. They are expected to use their earnings wisley without succumbing to the trappings of a celebrity lifestyle. They are expected to stay out of trouble. Expected to complete an allotted number of community service activities weekly. They’re also expected to make statements in the media, and speak on a number of issues, including those that are more controversial than the ones they deal with on the field. If any athlete feels uncomfortable about doing this in a way that is authentic to themselves and respectful of what they represent, then it would behoove them to just stay quiet.