Dak Prescott is furious, and he's not willing to remain silent. When George Floyd died at the hands (read: knee) of the Minneapolis Police Department in May, it sparked outrage that sent shockwaves around the planet. Derek Chauvin, the individual seen kneeling on Floyd's neck until he passed away, despite Floyd repeatedly crying out "I can't breathe" before the life eventually left his body after roughly nine minutes of neck compression; has been arrested and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. All four officers involved were terminated by the department, and the other three officers might soon be facing charges as well, according to multiple reports.
The State of Minneapolis has filed civil rights charges against MPD, but as protests and riots flood the nation, and the world, in an attempt to fan the flames of awareness of social injustice and the racism that fuels it -- the Dallas Cowboys quarterback has broken his silence with a powerful statement. He's put his contract negotiations with the team on the side burner to announce he'll donate donate $1 million to the cause of social justice, in a thorough and poignant statement posted on Instagram.
The full statement is transcribed below due to its length, but you can also scroll Prescott's IG post to view it in image form.
"As a Black Multiracial American, I am disgusted and unsettled! I am as optimistic as they come! I try to understand and find the positive in every situation or aspect of my life. My MOM left me the word 'Faith' to live out for a reason.
"I believe in the good in each individual and this country as a whole! To be humble and to see every man and woman as the same takes humility and accountability. As our communities take action, protesting and fighting for the justice of George Floyd and every black life, I am with you! 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 perceived equally as our counterparts.
"These riots have caused consternation and confusion in an already crisis-driven world. I do not believe looting or that violence is the answer. I have personally struggled, along with our country, since the coronavirus pandemic began. Anxiety became something I had to understand and battle with as I searched tofind a purpose without the game of football around.
"I wanted to help, make a change, be a part of something that fixed the pandemic. During that search, I lost an Idol -- my brother. He and I shared the same mission: Find a bigger purpose!
"As I process the passing of my brother, I have come to realize we are not given a voice to pronounce how much we matter. It is our obligation to tell our neighbor how much they matter to us and take a stand for the greater good of each other.
"Black Lives Matter!
"We must commit to hold ourselves and our communities accountable! We must teach one another about our differences. We must embrace the different colors, cultures and ways of life. To be multi-racial is beautiful and that is what this country is!
"To the men and women that police our streets, I have the utmost respect for those of you with passion for protecting and serving your communities. 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!
"Each of you are as guilty as the men who stood beside Derek Chauvin if you do not stand up against the systemic racism plaguing our police forces nationwide. Take action! As long as cops continue to profile Black [people] as a threat, cops will continue to be perceived as untrustworthy. You have to change your self before you can ask anyone else to change!
"I stand to make a change! I stand to see our country whole! I stand to make our country equal! I stand to help our streets and communities trust one another! I stand for Black lives! I stand for love! I will take action and help! I will act alongside all of you! We will clean our streets and our communities not only of the looting and violence, but more importantly the racism, racial profiling and hate!
"I plan to take action and pledge $1,000,000 to improve our police training and address systemic racism through education and advocacy in our country.
"God Bless. All Love. Dak Prescott. FAITH."
Prescott most certainly isn't alone in his stance, obviously, but many wondered how Cowboys players would handle the topic.
It's a team whose owner, Jerry Jones, made it clear during the height of the Colin Kaepernick controversy that every player within the organization would "toe the line" during the performance of the national anthem ahead of games -- an edict that did not go over well with the Black community and others who stood with them in also pushing for immediate police reform. At one point, Jones did lock arms and take a knee with his players to show solidarity, but it was prior to the anthem being performed. The team itself has not issued a statement on Floyd's death, and it's unclear if they will, but Prescott has.
The most prominent face on the most valuable team in all of sports has planted his flag, and his want is unequivocal. He demands police reform, but even more dynamic is his willingness to aim $1 million at the problem in the hopes of helping to one day solve it.