Despite all of the efforts to make us believe that the protests and dissidence is organic and has no media encouragement, we can see with our own eyes that it’s just not the case. The media no longer just reports the news, they encourage, and sometimes out right invent some of it. ESPN has gotten the reputation of being so overtly liberal in bias that many of their former fans have given up and stopped watching. The recent anthem protests haven’t helped that image at all, considering that their support has been unrelenting, but they’re not alone.
The entire nation seems to be considering the aversion that some NFL players seem to have to showing respect for the flag to be some kind of national barometer. The problem with that is that the last time I checked, the rich and famous sometimes get a little out of touch with reality. Most of these players had a meteoric rise to fame, and an almost equal amount seem to have forgotten what it’s like to struggle. However, thus far we haven’t heard a lot of disrespect out of the Dallas Cowboys, more affectionately known as “America’s team”.
At least one of their players did have something to say to the press though. When he was pushed as to why he wouldn’t kneel with his brothers who were protesting the anthem, Cowboy’s quarterback Dak Prescott didn’t mince words. They even asked if he was just tempted to participate, he said: “No, not at all.” Apparently, Dak understands what he owes to America, and he’s proud to show it.
He says that he’s Not taking his freedom for granted. That is the crux of the matter; what does the flag represent? To him, it represents a level of freedom rarely seen in history and one that he values. Prescott and all the rest of us have our jobs and our lives the way that they are because of the flag, not in spite of it. No matter how many news outlets try to push it down our throats that the flag stands for racism and hate, history tells a different story.
Sports Day reported on Prescott and other Cowboy’s refusal to engage in the disrespectful and damaging protest:
“While protests of the national anthem continue to pick up steam, Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott says he will not be joining the ranks of those kneeling.
In an interview with Yahoo Sports posted Sunday, Prescott said he is “not at all” tempted to protest the anthem.
Asked to explain his reasoning, Prescott had this to say:
‘I mean, it’s bigger than I think some of us think,’ he said. ‘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.’
‘I just feel so strongly that the act of recognizing the flag is a salute to our country and all of the people that have sacrificed so that we can have the liberties we have,’ Jones said on 105.3 The Fan. ‘I feel very strongly that everyone should save that moment for the recognition of the flag in a positive way, so I like the way the Cowboys do it.’
But Cowboys running back Darren McFadden told NBC Sports’ Newy Scruggs that Jones has never ordered the team to act a certain way during the anthem.
‘He hasn’t come in and said that to us personally,’ McFadden said last week.
Earlier this month, Cowboys coach Jason Garrett also commented on anthem protests, saying, ‘There’s no question in my mind. The national anthem is sacred. The flag is sacred. And our team has demonstrated that.’
Wide receiver Dez Bryant has also taken to Twitter and the media concerning his views on anthem protests after ESPN’s Jemele Hill publicly criticized him. From SportsDay’s David Moore:
The Cowboys receiver wants everyone to know he’s not critical of players who choose to protest by refusing to stand for the anthem. At the same time, Bryant doesn’t want to be judged for his choice to stand or be labeled as an athlete who doesn’t care about social issues.
He swears he does. In Bryant’s words, this is about following a more positive path that he’s convinced is the only way to arrive at ‘real peace.”
‘I’m not criticizing nobody,’ Bryant said of the growing number of NFL players who don’t stand for the national anthem. ‘They’re free to do whatever they want. Hell no, I’m not doing none of that. Their beliefs are their beliefs, and I’m not saying they’re wrong because they’re feeling a certain way. They’re supposed to.
‘I’m just saying OK, I want to lead by example by doing positive. I’m not saying what they’re doing is wrong. I just have my ways of going about things.’
SportsDay columnist Tim Cowlishaw recently wrote that he thinks Jones and others are getting one thing wrong about anthem protests. Here’s a brief bit from his column:
I don’t blame Jones for expressing pride in the fact that no Cowboys player has joined in the chorus of players protesting during the “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
Jones has been wrongly accused of ordering his players to stand, based on a story that proved to be false last fall. But I think it’s in every owner’s self-interest to acknowledge and accept the right to protest. The stronger stand one takes, the harder it is to back off when a player chooses to speak out.
It’s fine for Jones to be grateful. His tone suggests he wouldn’t have it any other way, and while that plays well to his local audience, all it takes is one key starter to take a knee before Jones will be forced to back off that ‘really disappointing’ stance.”
Athletes that protest walk a very fine line. Not only is it disrespectful to their country, it’s something that’s likely to alienate them from their fan base. Football fans are a group made up of mostly middle Americans, many of whom are closely related to a service member. This kind of activity is only going to make the NFL leave a bad taste in a whole lot of people’s mouths. Who knows whether the Cowboys are doing this because of ethical reasons or monetary ones, but either way it’s nice to know there’s a team out there whose players are showing some respect.
(Source: Sports Day)
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