One day after Jurrell Casey voiced he would continue to protest against social injustices during the national anthem before games, the Tennessee Titans said they plan to sit down with their star defensive tackle.
Casey told CNN during a promotional stop in London that he intends to continue protesting despite the new NFL edict that players are to show respect while the anthem is being played. Teams will be fined if one of their players doesn’t follow the policy.
“In the case of Jurrell Casey, I think our head coach (Mike Vrabel) and general manager (Jon Robinson) are interested in having a conversation after he gets back from the United Kingdom,” Titans CEO and team president Steve Underwood said at a sports authority meeting in Nashville on Thursday, according to the Tennessean. “We think there may be some misunderstanding on his part.
“Because the new league policy does not provide anywhere that fines are made against players. If a player doesn’t stand, the teams can be fined, but not the players.”
Casey’s comments implied that he thinks the players will be fined, not the clubs.
“I’m going to take a fine this year, why not?” Casey said. “I’m going to protest during the flag. That’s what I’m going to say now.”
Casey and linebacker Wesley Woodyard both raised a fist after the national anthem before games during the 2017 season.
The Titans reportedly don’t plan to reprimand Casey for Wednesday’s comments but said they do want to collect his thoughts on the matter.
The new anthem policy, passed in May, states players “must stand and show respect for the flag and anthem.” Players are allowed to remain in the locker room while the anthem is playing.
“There are two things that can happen that are considered to be legitimate under the policy: stay in the locker room or you can stand respectfully during the anthem,” Underwood said. “And it doesn’t apply just to the players; it applies to every employee of ours.
“So, we’re not exactly sure why he suggested that he would, as he put (it), ‘take his fine’ because there will be no fines levied against him.”
The NFL owners set the new rule in an attempt to quash the silent protests that started in 2016 when Colin Kaepernick, then with the San Francisco 49ers, took a knee during the anthem in what he said was a stand against racial injustice.
President Donald Trump has made an issue out of player protests. Last season, he called the players’ actions a “total disrespect for our great country.”
Casey, a three-time Pro Bowler, has 39 sacks in seven NFL seasons, all with the Titans.
—Field Level Media