The dominoes are starting to fall regarding the new anthem rules the NFL set into place in May. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced May 23 that players will now be required to either stand for the anthem or remain in the locker room. Players who do not comply will face “appropriate discipline,” per Goodell’s official statement. That discipline most likely entails fines.
Tennessee Titans Pro Bowl defensive tackle Jurrell Casey announced Wednesday that he will continue to protest on the field. “I’m going to take a fine this year, why not?” Casey said, per Motez Bishara, of CNN. “It is what it is,” Casey continued. “I ain’t going to let them stop me from doing what I want to do.”
Jurrell Casey Will Accept Any Discipline NFL Imposes and Will Protest the New National Anthem Policy
The anthem protests began back in the 2016 preseason. Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick sat during the playing of the national anthem. After the game, Kaepernick gave his reasoning for the protest. “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick said.
One week later, Kaepernick’s then teammate, safety Eric Reid joined his protest. Both players knelt on the sideline during the anthem. Seattle Seahawks cornerback Jeremy Lane also remained seated the same day. Around a month later, US president Donald Trump called out NFL players for kneeling, stating they were “sons of bitches,” who should be fired. This set off a league-wide reaction, as scores of players and coaches began kneeling for the anthem. Since that time, after Kaepernick opted out of his contract with San Francisco, he has been unable to find work as an NFL quarterback. He remains in the midst of a collusion case against the NFL, and continues to do charity work on the side.
Since the NFL announced the rule change, players have received some support from their peers to continue protesting. New York Jets chairman Christopher Johnson stated that he and the Jets organization would pay any fines accrued by Jets players who protested the National Anthem. Casey is the first player to announce he will continue to kneel, but more than likely, he will not be the last.