Emmitt Smith is speaking out about his views on the NFL national anthem kneeling controversy. According to the former Dallas Cowboys star, he would kneel if he were still playing today.
During an interview with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Emmitt Smith, 51, explained his stance on the issue. “Yeah, I think I would do something, just as much as I ran out there and defended that star when T.O. did what he did,” Smith said.
The Hall of Famer was referencing an iconic NFL moment when San Francisco 49ers receiver Terrell Owens celebrated a touchdown by running out to the blue star on the middle of the Cowboys’ field in 2000. “Why not? If I can defend the star, I definitely can defend the right for everybody to have equal justice,” he said.
He continued by adding: “If I can defend the star, I can take a stand for social justice. I have been a victim of it. It’s not like I am talking because something happened to George Floyd. Something happened to me more than one time, a couple of times it happened right here in Dallas. I’m talking from experience, not something I read in a book and saw on CNN.”
Furthermore, Smith says that he feels a sense of pride when watching the current players use their platform to draw attention to social issues.
“I am inspired by these young cats,” he said. “There is no doubt NFL players are trying to do good in the community. Now, they are flexing their muscles in a different way. Voting happens to be one of the best ways to exercise your complete rights and really effect change through legislation and policies.”
Emmitt Smith Takes Aim at Jerry Jones
Smith later addressed Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who in the past, outspokenly opposed kneeling during the anthem.
“Jerry needs to cut it out. He needs to cut it out,” Smith said. “Don’t distort the message because of the flag. It is bigger than the flag. That flag ain’t hurt one soul as it waves. It is there as a reminder of what many men and women, black and white, died for. Just like those Super Bowl trophies, they are there as a reminder of what you have done in history that was good. They are not there just to be flashy. They are there to remind each and every player, team and coach that comes and works for the Dallas Cowboys organization why you are here.”
Smith continued by saying: “That is what that flag is a symbol of, why we fight for freedom and what we stand for as Americans. And we don’t stand for this B.S. What is the difference between injustice and bullying? You see somebody get bullied, are you supposed to keep walking down the street? No. You support that peace, but you won’t support justice for people getting killed in the streets for no apparent reason.”