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Who is to Judge Dak Prescott?

The Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott took an unprecedented, firm stance on national anthem protests at Cowboys training camp.

Cowboys QB Dak Prescott doubled down on the comments he made last week about the anthem protests in the NFL saying in the video above: 

“I never protest during the anthem, and I don't think that's the time or the venue to do so…when you bring so much controversy to the stadium, to the field, it takes away from the love that football brings to a lot of people…I’m not naïve. I’m very aware of the social injustice that we have going on. But I’m about the action that we can do rather than the silent protests.”  

As you might imagine, these comments drew a lot of criticism around the country, with cries of “Uncle Tom” and “sellout” making the rounds.  The backlash was amplified this week after a mural depicting him as a character in the movie “Get Out” surfaced in Dallas.  And whether you agree or disagree, the conversation is important, so please pay attention!

If you’ve read my blog in the past, you’ll know I’m a middle-aged white guy, but I won’t shy away from discussing issues of race.  In this instance, however, I will recuse myself because, as that middle-aged white guy, I simply do not have the perspective to make a judgment.  But make no mistake, judgments are being made.  And they are being made by people who DO have the perspective to understand the position Dak is in.  And what they are saying isn’t pretty.  

But what I can do, and what you can do, is to approach situations like these with your own perspective in mind.  Put yourself in someone else’s shoes if you can, but be honest when you can’t.  Withhold judgment unless you KNOW of what you speak.  Does Dak deserve praise for standing up and sticking to his beliefs?  Many have applauded him.  Does he deserve criticism for toeing the company line and failing to support his race?  Many have derided him.  But the opinions that I’m interested in are those of other high-profile black athletes.  They are the ones who have the perspective to make that kind of judgment.

When he was asked again about his stance after the mural surfaced, he replied, 

“I made my statements. I stand by what I said. Some people might have misunderstood or whatever, but I know what I said, and I feel strongly about what I said. It is what it is.”  

Good for you Dak!  At least he is being consistent and honest.  But at the same time, good for his critics too!  The fight for social justice deserves everyone’s involvement, and any help someone in Dak Prescott’s position can lend is a good thing.  But, either way, the conversation is on the front pages, and that can only be good for all of us.