At one time, Dak Prescott was slammed by the Black community for speaking out against the NFL players who protested police brutality by kneeling for the national anthem. But he might’ve repaired some of his reputation this week after sending a message that supported the George Floyd protesters.
The Dallas Cowboys star also said that he’d donate $1 million to improve police training and “address systematic racism through education and advocacy.”
Prescott, who was born to a Black father and a white and Native American mother, said while he doesn’t think that looting and violence will bring justice for Black people, he believes protesting is a sign of power.
“As our communities take action protesting and fighting for the justice of George Floyd and every Black life, I am with you,” he wrote in a June 3 Instagram post. “I have viewed these protests and riots in our streets as a form of strength and an attempt to show we as Black people have rights that aren’t being perceived equally as our counterparts.”
Prescott said the passing of his brother Jace Prescott reminded him of their shared goal of finding a bigger purpose in life, hence the donation. Jace died in April at 31 years old from unknown causes.
The NFL quarterback then urged people to embrace different races and cultures, right before he addressed police.
“I have the utmost respect for those of you with a passion for protecting and serving communities,” Prescott stated in the post. “When you chose to wear the badge of a police officer, you pledged to protect life and property through the enforcement of our laws and regulations. How can you claim to uphold the law when those within your own ranks don’t abide by it?”
“You need to hold your own accountable,” he continued. “Each of you are as guilty as the men who stood beside Derek Chauvin if you do not stand up against the systematic racism plaguing our police forces nationwide. Take action.”
Chauvin is the former Minneapolis police officer who knelt on Floyd’s neck during a May 25 arrest. Floyd died that same day, and Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder, which was upgraded to second-degree murder on June 3. He’s also facing a second-degree manslaughter charge.
Officers Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng, and Tou Thao, who were on the scene during the arrest, were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
After people saw Prescott’s message, most praised him, with one person writing, “LEADERSHIP, proud of you brother.”
But some reminded him of what he said about players kneeling for the national anthem at NFL games, a protest that was started by quarterback Colin Kaepernick in 2016 when he played for the San Francisco 49ers.
“Nice message. I wish you would have taken this stance with @kaepernick7 a few years ago,” one message read.
Prescott’s stand back then was that protesting during NFL games made it hard for fans to enjoy those games.
“I don’t think that’s the time or the venue to do so,” said Prescott in 2018 about kneeling. “The game of football has always brought me such a peace, and I think it does the same for a lot of other people. … So when you bring such a controversy to the stadium, to the field, to the game, it takes away.”