Does internet and social media backlash bother Dak Prescott?
It took Trey Wilder three hours to create a piece of art that set the internet on fire.
But on Sunday, reports surfaced that Wilder’s mural that depicted Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott in the iconic image from Jordan Peele’s Academy Award-winning film “Get Out” had been defaced.
“You know what, it’s already done its job,” Wilder said. “So, it really didn’t matter. Besides, that’s what happens at the (Fabrication) Yard.”
On Friday, the Arlington-area native went over to the Fabrication Yard, located in the Trinity Groves area of Dallas near an intersection of Interstate 30 and Interstate 35.
He produced the six-foot-high, 10-foot-wide mural with just 8 spray cans worth roughly $64.
But why the drawing?
It began when owner Jerry Jones opened training camp re-stating a zero-tolerance policy within the organization regarding protesting during the national anthem. Jones and vice-president Stephen Jones said a player would be disciplined and even cut if they didn’t stand for the anthem with their “toes on the line.”
Prescott said Jones’ policy didn’t bother him because he always stood for the anthem as he saw it as a time for reflection and believed it was the wrong time and place to protest.
That answer drew a visceral backlash from people of color who supported the protests by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in 2016 and continued by many players across the NFL to shine a light on racism and police brutality, most notably Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins.
Wilder is a Cowboys fan and understands Prescott must do what’s best for him. However, he has his own opinion on Prescott’s comments.
“Honestly, I know he’s a superstar, but I’m not scared of Dak Prescott,” Wilder told the Star-Telegram. “But like in the movie, maybe [the piece] will be a flash for him. I think, with that platform, it was just weird how he dismissed the whole situation, especially being a black man himself.”
On Sunday at the team’s training camp in Oxnard, Calif., Prescott issued a response to the mural and the on-going criticisms of his stance on the national anthem protests.
“Everybody has their own opinion,” Prescott said when asked about the mural. “It is what it is. When I made my statements on the anthem, I knew there would be backlash. No surprises.”
Asked if the continued criticism was unfair, Prescott said: “As I said, I made my statement. I stand by what I said. I just said some people may have misunderstood it or whatever. I feel strongly about what I said. And it is what it is.”
“Honestly, I have no ill-will against Dak,” Wilder said. “I wasn’t doing this to aim at him. It was just something that touched me and I had to do it. I don’t hate the guy.
“It didn’t seem like he payed much attention to it because he’s in that mode right now.”
His first bit of inspiration for his latest work came Friday morning after he watched a YouTube video of “The Breakfast Club” podcast. In that production, Charlamagne Tha God criticizes one individual as his “Donkey of the Day.”
He then realized that idea meshed perfectly with a moment (at the 2:43 mark of this clip) from “Get Out.”
While at Sam Houston State, he also walked-on to the football team as a cornerback (and admits he was terrible).
“I know what a quarterback means to the team,” Wilder said. “It’s like [sighs], ‘You’re the leader.’”
The owner of the property at the Fabrication Yard provides the walls and space for anyone who wants to canvas them, free of charge. And even though Wilder had previously created profiles of athletes such as LeBron James and Dirk Nowitzki, he knew that the shelf-life of his latest work might be short-lived.
Wilder has also got a ton of positive feedback on social media, some positive and some negative.
Now, he makes his living as an artist and graphic designer by earning commission from individuals, companies and brands on social media. And from Aug. 20-26, he’ll even be opening his first show at a space in the Ridgmar Mall in Fort Worth.
When asked what type of art his showcase will feature, he laughed and said: “That’s a surprise! People are going to have to come find out for themselves!”
As for whether Prescott might ever change his attitude on the issue?
“I can’t speak for him,” Wilder said. “I’m just going to speak for myself because I’ve said some said some things in my past where I think, ‘Man, I wish I hadn’t said that.’ At the end of the day, you learn from it. And time heals all to some degree. But we’ve all said and done and things that we’re not proud of.”