Washington Wizards star John Wall took a lot of flack from the D.C. fan base when he wore an Emmitt Smith jersey on the Dallas Cowboys sideline before Sunday’s game at FedEx Field against the Washington Redskins.
This week, Wall defended his Cowboys fandom in an interview with Comcast SportsNet’s Chris Miller.
“I can see if I wore a Cowboys jersey with a Dez Bryant or Dak Prescott or Ezekiel Elliott, one of the current guys,” Wall said. “I wore a legendary guy, but it’s my team . . . when they’re not playing each other, I cheer for the Redskins because it’s a D.C. team.”
“I’m not from Washington, D.C.,” Wall said in response to those who call him disloyal. “I’m from Raleigh, North Carolina, and the Cowboys have always been my team. I respect and love every team and cheer for every team and hope every team in Washington, D.C. do well just like they do for us. You can say ‘Well DeSean Jackson likes this L.A. team, the Lakers.’ Well, he’s from L.A. He’s not from Washington, D.C.; he just plays for the Redskins. So it was no disrespect; it’s just my favorite team, and everybody understands and know that.”
Wall has been known to support the burgundy and gold, as evidenced by his 2014 appearance at FedEx Field in a customized No. 2 Redskins jersey with his name on the back.
When asked about the people who cite his Cowboys fandom at FedEx Field as hypocritical given his dislike of opposing fans filling Verizon Center on a regular basis for Wizards games, Wall explained the difference.
“The difference is, was you a Steph Curry fan before the last two years?” Wall asked. “I’ve been a Cowboys fan since I was born. I was a momma’s boy. That’s the team I grew up watching play. It ain’t like I just switched to the Cowboys all of a sudden when I got to D.C.”
Wizards Coach Scott Brooks defended Wall’s commitment to the District.
“I understand John is a Cowboys fan, but the thing I love about John — he’s in the community here,” Brooks said Tuesday. “You can go back in his history of being a Wizard, he’s done a lot of community work here, and that’s what it’s about. We love what we do, we have a great platform, but we also have an obligation and a privilege to give back to the community. You know, maybe I should pass out Redskins jerseys the first day of training camp.”
Before his rookie season began, Wall said he’d still support the Cowboys but would tread lightly if he got to see them play the Redskins in the season opener at FedEx Field.
“I like the Cowboys, because of my mom,” Wall said in 2010. “People aren’t going to like me because of that. I got to stay with the Cowboys because I can’t switch teams, but I’m going to support D.C. no matter what. I’m in between. I’ll be cheering for both of them, but I won’t let anybody know.”