Baltimore Ravens national anthem singer Joey Odoms has informed the organization that he is resigning.
Odoms, a combat veteran, released a statement on Instagram, calling his resignation “an ethical decision.”
Odoms added that the “tone/actions of a large number of NFL fans in the midst of our country’s cultural crisis, have convinced me that I do not belong there.”
Here’s the Instagram post and statement:
Dear Ravens Flock
I am resigning as Official National Anthem Singer of the Baltimore Ravens. The people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting at the Ravens organization have been nothing but nice to me, however the tone/actions of a large number of NFL fans in the midst of our country’s cultural crisis, have convinced me that I do not belong there. Someone once told me to always “go where you’re welcomed”. This is not an emotional reaction to recent events, rather an ethical decision that part of me regrets but my core knows is the right choice.
Thank you so much for the opportunity to grow as a performer and for allowing me to live out a dream of sharing my gift with you.
Odoms has been the Ravens’ anthem singer since 2014, and first showed interest in the job when Ravens head coach John Harbaugh visited Odoms’ military base in Afghanistan, according to the Baltimore Sun.
The decision comes two days after league-wide protests during the national anthem (following President Donald Trump’s “son of a bitch” comments on players protesting), including about a dozen Ravens players kneeling and locking arms.
The Ravens host the Steelers on Sunday, so they have a few days to find a new anthem singer.