FRISCO - The Dallas Cowboys were scheduled to be on the field here inside The Star in Frisco at 8 a.m today. But in a 7:15 a.m. presser with the DFW media, coach Mike McCarthy acknowledged the possibility of the team, led by its players, to use part of this training camp as a form of protest of social injustice."
"Sports is supposed to be a great escape,'' McCarthy said. "(But) you can’t escape what’s going on right now. We’ve got major, major challenges in our society right now that need to be addressed."
But starting at 8, the Cowboys practice did go on as scheduled ... but more in-house sessions are on tap. For Thursday, the team conducted its usual practice inside Ford Center. No players missed due to any protests; center Joe Looney led the team in an end-of-practice prayer.
One way that others in pro sports are addressing the ills: Cancelation or postponement of events. The Detroit Lions did so with their Wednesday practice, and the NBA Playoffs shut down on Wednesday night as their players meet on the possibility of ending the season, fueled by the latest incident, the death at the hands of Wisconsin police by Jacob Blake.
The Cowboys on Wednesday met as team with the players leadership council at the fore to discuss options. The team also engaged in an early-afternoon session with a seminar on the importance of voting.
McCarthy, the former Green Bay Packers coach who has deep roots in Wisconsin - and whose father was a Pittsburgh cop and firefighter, began his press conference with an opening statement: “It’s hard to sit here and talk about football with everything going on in our country ...The conversation within our football team is ongoing. Obviously difficult times where things have to change. I find it disturbing. ...
"I just don't understand why it keeps happening. I think I'm like everybody else, I don't have the answers, but things need to change."