Jones has been among the NFL team owners most publicly opposed to the protests. He said early last season that any players of his who are “disrespecting the flag” would be benched, and he followed it up by reportedly encouraging his fellow owners to create a rule forcing players to stand during the anthem, saying that “the league is suffering negative effects from these protests.”
More recently, Jones, who has heard directly from President Trump, a sharp and frequent critic of the protests, regarding the issue, has said that the president’s interest in the matter was “problematic.” However, his son Stephen Jones, a Cowboys executive, suggested last month that Dallas players could be released if they did not stand for the anthem.
That won’t be a problem, apparently, for Prescott, the team’s starting quarterback since 2016, who said in July, “I never protest during the anthem, and I don’t think that’s the time or the venue to do so.” He added, “I’m all about making a change and making a difference, and I think this whole kneeling and all of that was just about raising awareness and the fact that we’re still talking about social injustice years later, I think we’ve gotten to that point. … I’m up for taking the next step, whatever the next step may be, for action and not just kneeling.”
Prescott took some criticism for those comments, and while he subsequently addressed “a little misunderstanding of the fact of what I believe in,” saying, “I never said I didn’t believe in social injustice and things that were going on,” he reiterated his personal stance.
“I said what I said,” he asserted. “You have an opinion. Everyone else has an opinion. They are entitled to it as well. I accepted what they said and respect it. They should respect mine.”
Asked again Sunday about his comments, Prescott was resolute, saying (via ESPN), “I stand by what I said. Some people may have misunderstood or whatever, but I know what I said, and I feel strongly about what I said.”
During a preseason game Thursday between the Cowboys and the 49ers, the only reported demonstration during the anthem was held by San Francisco wide receiver Marquis Goodwin, who raised his fist.
Among the backlash Prescott has received for his position on the protests was a mural painted in Dallas that depicted the quarterback as being in the “sunken place,” a reference to the movie “Get Out” that implied Prescott was oblivious or indifferent to issues of racial injustice. Asked recently by TMZ Sports about the mural, actor/entrepreneur Ice Cube slammed the depiction of Prescott as “bulls—.”
“Do what you want to do, man,” Cube, whose BIG3 basketball league has no policy on player conduct during the anthem, said as a message to the quarterback. “F— everybody.”
Asked, in turn, about that show of support for Prescott, Jones said, “I’m a big fan of Ice Cube.”