By Tim Lacy, Special to the AFRO

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott has been facing a firestorm since he weighed in on the controversy surrounding the anthem protest.

For those of you who need to be brought up to speed, Colin Kaepernick opened up a can of worms when he kneeled during the National Anthem being played before a game a few seasons ago. Donald Trump jumped in with comments about disrespect for our military and the flag of our nation. This was missing the point, but the fact of police brutality and unfair treatment in the courts was a message being swept under the rug with Trump’s rhetoric. This led us down a path of controversy.

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) during the second half of a preseason NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals in Arlington, Texas, Saturday, Aug. 18, 2018. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)

Dak made a statement that he does not believe that a football game is the “time or venue” for a protest.

“When you bring such  controversy to the stadium, to the game, to the field, it takes away,” Prescott said. “It takes away from that. I’m up for taking the next step… and not just kneeling.”

This statement made Dak a target for criticism. A popular point of view is that his statement is impeding the social progress of African-Americans. This shows us that there are still some who are missing the point. The Anthem protest isn’t about African-Americans; it is a plea for criminal justice relief for all people, and a cry for police brutality to end.

However, when faced with the backlash, Dak was undaunted. He faced the criticism with the class that has endeared him to all of us. From a man used to facing the rush of 300-pound defensive players, he made it clear that the rebuttal was expected and his comment was, “It is what it is.”

Dak made it clear that he respects everybody, and he resurrected an echo from the 60’s, ‘POWER TO THE PEOPLE’ that kneel.

I don’t know if I completely agree with Dak, but I respect his right to say it. His position is profound coming from a man who is a newcomer to the NFL. He came into the League, and from the beginning has stood tall. He has had to fight for respect from the day he put on a Cowboys uniform. He was replacing the popular Tony Romo and dealing with the naysayers, all the time wearing the cloak of a gentleman. His performance and penchant for keeping trouble at arm’s length has won over the Cowboy community and turned some long time Cowboys haters into fans (Mrs. Lacy, for one).

The fact that he is unfazed by the comments show the quality of this man, and for kids looking for a role model, they could do worse.

Tim Lacy

Special to the AFRO