Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott weighed in on the ongoing symbolic protest by some National Football League players who take a knee when the national anthem is played in pre-game ceremonies.
Drafted by the Cowboys in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft out of Mississippi State, Prescott went from backup to starter when the now-retired Tony Romo suffered an injury. Prescott led the Cowboys to a 13-3 record in his initial season, clinching the NFC East title. He was awarded NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year honors and named to the Pro Bowl. Prescott finished the stellar season with a 67.8 completion percentage, 23 touchdowns, and a passer rating of 104.9. He also rushed for six touchdowns.
Currently unemployed, former San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick famously knelt during "The Star-Spangled Banner" last season as a protest against police brutality and racial injustice.
The NFL free agent's unsigned status as either a starter or, more likely, a backup at this stage of his career has consumed a tremendous amount of oxygen in the sports media industry, and the media in general, and has only intensified as the NFL regular season nears. It's unclear whether Kaepernick's controversial political activism and NFL owners' concerns about distractions it might cause or his declining skills -- or a combination of both -- have kept the signal caller off the gridiron so far.
As an example of the interest in this issue among sports journalists, a Yahoo Sports reporter asked Dak Prescott whether he would consider participating in the national anthem protest, the Dallas Morning News detailed.
The second-year star responded as follows.
"No, not at all. I mean, it's bigger than I think some of us think. It's just important for me to go out there, hand over my heart, represent our country, and just be thankful and not take anything I've been given and my freedom for granted."