FRISCO, Texas – The events of the last few months have provided people with plenty of food for thought, and Mike McCarthy is no exception.
The Cowboys' first-year head coach spoke to reporters for the first time since the start of training camp on Friday, touching on a variety of on-field and off-field topics. Prominent among those was the question of social justice, which has taken center stage across the country this summer.
The death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers sparked worldwide protests back at the start of June, and the conversation has only grown from there. Across the world of sports, athletes have leant their voices to various causes from community outreach, to issues of systemic racism and police reform.
For his part, McCarthy said the conversation has given him the opportunity to reflect and to listen.
"I think we all are touched by everything that's going on personally," he said. "I know for me personally, it's made me take a hard look at the blind spots that I may have in my life from my experiences."
Back in June, the Dallas Cowboys as an organization released a video advocating for combating social injustice through ongoing conversation and cooperation.
It's a message McCarthy endorsed, as he said that a primary focus at this time should be listening to different viewpoints and perspectives.
"One thing I do know, and we continue to echo to everybody involved in football operations, is to take a step back. I think we all need to listen more," he said. "How can we really be part of the progress? I think the organization's statement of protest through progress is right on the money."
As other sports leagues, such as the NBA, NHL, MLB and MLS have returned, there has been a groundswell of support for Black Lives Matter and other initiatives against social inequality. Naturally, that led to a question for McCarthy about what the Cowboys' plan or policy might be when football finally returns.
According to McCarthy, those conversations are ongoing. And as he mentioned, they'll involve a healthy amount of listening.
"These are conversations that we'll continue to have," McCarthy said. "It is Aug. 7 and in fairness to us this is the first time we have been in the building together. All those things will be talked about. My particular stance is it's a time to step back and listen and make sure we are in the right place."