Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott and coach Mike McCarthy believe any gesture during the national anthem this season should be done as an individual decision.
Prescott voiced his opinion on the “freedom to do that” on Wednesday, and McCarthy stood behind his quarterback’s comments early Thursday.
Prescott: Anthem gesture should be individually driven
Prescott’s comments, via ESPN:
“That's what this country is about, the freedom to do that, the freedom to express yourself,” Prescott said Wednesday. “We heard Mr. Jones [Cowboys owner Jerry Jones] talk about grace and sharing grace and having grace with players in what they want to do. If I had it my way, that's exactly what we'd do is express ourselves individually but love and support one another collectively.”
Prescott said private conversations about how to approach the anthem are ongoing and they’re also having productive conversations on social justice initiatives. He pledged $1 million to improve police training and address systemic racism after the death of George Floyd in May.
“Right now it's about listening to the other man, having empathy for him and understanding where he may be coming from,” he said, per the team website.
McCarthy stands behind Prescott on anthem
McCarthy briefly addressed the issue of gestures during the anthem. Via ESPN:
“I think it's what's best for all of us. I think the individuality of expressing yourself is part of that decision. I saw Dak's comments this morning and I think he expressed it very well. I thought he hit the nail right on the head, and that's the way we'll move forward.”
The Cowboys first game is Sept. 13 against the Los Angeles Rams.
Jerry Jones says he’ll have ‘grace’
Jones addressed the issue at the beginning of training camp, his first appearance in front of the media since the NFL draft in April.
He said he has not made a decision on the anthem or what he expects from players on the issue.
“Everybody understands where I stand with the flag. Everybody also understands where I stand on backing our players,” Jones said.
As for his previous stance that everyone should stand for the anthem, he said, “That was then, this is now. We're gonna have grace.”
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