At the end of the movie Braveheart, Robert the Bruce explains that William Wallace’s body was torn to pieces and each piece was sent to the corners of England to serve as a warning. As he puts it, that did not have the effect that was planned.
The NFL may soon find themselves in a similar situation once the 2018-2019 season starts. This will be the first following their decision to require all players to stand and show “respect” for the national anthem if they are on the field. The move is, of course, in reaction to players kneeling or not coming out during the song as a form of protest over the way African-Americans are mistreated in America. The owners’ apparent misinterpretation, coupled with concerns of pissing off the President of the United States, now dares players to protest during the song and rack up fines for doing so.
At least one current NFL player is willing to risk the financial and league-wide blowback in order to keep protesting.
While promoting this year’s game between the Tennessee Titans and Los Angeles Chargers in London, Titans’ Pro Bowl defensive lineman Jurrell Casey told CNN that he plans to protest this season.
“I’m going to take a fine this year, why not? I’m going to protest during the flag. That’s what I’m going to say now.”
Casey and teammate Wesley Woodyard raised their fists after the national anthem all throughout the 2017 season and Casey said he’s going to continue doing so this season. Titans coach Mike Vrabel has previously said that the players have his and controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk’s support to do what they think is right regarding protests. It’s unclear if the team will fine any player who performs a protest, though the team itself is likely to incur a fine from the league.
“There is always going to be blowback, that is what America is about,” Casey told CNN. “They always like to go on social media and go hard. It is what it is, at the end of the day, I don’t pay no mind to it. I’m going to do what I do that’s going to bring light to my community.”
“At the end of the day, we got to do a job, but I will continue to use my platform to keep on speaking up.”
Casey also predicted that other NFL players will continue their protests as well. He also reiterated that the point of the protests isn’t the national anthem, much as Trump and others want to make it about that.
“It’s not necessarily about the anthem, that’s where everybody’s messing up…The way that the justice system treats minorities is the issue that we have.”