David Irving didn’t want to reveal his specific plans for what he might or might not do during the national anthem on Sunday before the Dallas Cowboys take on the San Francisco 49ers.
But Irving has made a personal determination to do something to protest police brutality and racial injustice. He, along with Damontre Moore, raised their fists after the anthem was played before the Cowboys’ game against the Green Bay Packers on Oct. 8.
“I have made a call,” Irving said. “You’ll just have to wait till Sunday.”
Irving remained adamant that his actions would not “disrespect the flag,” something that owner Jerry Jones said would lead to his organization benching players.
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“I hope not since it’s not about the flag in the first place, you know?” Irving said.
Asked if he considered taking a knee, Irving responded: “I can’t say, man.”
Irving said he doesn’t feel a need to consult Jones or Garrett before the game about his plans.
“Nah, it’s not disrespecting the flag,” said Irving, who has family members and friends in the armed services. “It’s not disrespecting the flag.”
Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began protesting during the national anthem last year to raise awareness for police brutality against people of color and social injustices.
Irving said he has had personal experiences with police brutality, although that is not the singular issue he’s focused on.
“It’s a lot of things,” Irving said. “I can’t even rant to you about anything specifically, but it’s not just about police brutality. That’s a part of the big picture.”
Irving said the protests have nothing to do with President Donald Trump, who has turned this into a national storyline. Trump referred to players who protest during the national anthem as “sons of b------” who should be fired from their job.
“Before Trump was here we’ve been having these problems,” Irving said.
Irving did not know if other players would join him. Moore indicated he no plans of protesting, saying: “I have a job.”
But Irving said he has received nothing but favorable feedback for his actions to this point. That is somewhat surprising considering a majority of Cowboys fans side with Jones in thinking that players should not protest during the national anthem.
“I’ve had way more support,” Irving said. “I’m not disrespecting the flag. I really haven’t gotten anything negative. It’s all positive.”