At least one NFL player says he will continue to protest this season during the playing of the national anthem and will pay any fines he incurs as a result.
Speaking to CNN, Tennessee Titans defensive end Jurrell Casey said Wednesday that he will make his views known.
“I’m going to take a fine this year, why not?” Casey said at an NFL promotional event in London. “I’m going to protest during the flag. That’s what I’m going to say now.”
The 28-year-old Casey was the Titans’ third-round selection from USC in the 2011 NFL Draft. He has earned three consecutive Pro Bowl selections.
Casey is the most prominent player yet to state that he plans to disregard new NFL rules that require players to “stand and show respect for the flag and the anthem” or stay in the locker room during the playing of the anthem. The new policy calls for fines and punishment for any mode of disrespect. Teams will be allowed to pay the fines for their players, something New York Jets chairman Christopher Johnson has already said he will do.
Last week, the NFL Players Association filed a non-injury grievance challenging the policy, saying it was imposed without consultation of the players and “is inconsistent with the collective bargaining agreement and infringes on player rights.”
The 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 Trump has made an issue out of player protests. Last season, he called the players’ actions a “total disrespect for our great country.”
—Field Level Media