Roger Goodell, commissioner of the NFL, recently spoke out about players protesting by taking a knee during the Star Spangled Banner. Ultimately, Goodell believes that “everyone should stand for the National Anthem” and is trying to determine a solution, which is reportedly going to be discussed next week.
Following Goodell’s statement, many Americans felt a small form of victory, including President Donald Trump. Since the start of the protests with former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, football fans have not been impressed with the players' protesting strategies and many have threatened to boycott the NFL altogether—which has been proven by recent drops in ratings.
Shortly after Goodell’s public statement, Tennessee Titans’ wide receiver Rishard Matthews commented on this controversy. According to ESPN, Matthews was asked by producer Matt Parker if he would continue to stay in the locker room during the anthem (like his entire team has done previously) or face a penalty, if a rule was indeed created by the NFL.
Matthews, a consistent advocate on social media regarding the “significance” of the protests to “fight racial injustice and police brutality,” responded via Twitter, “No I will be done playing football.” The tweet was quickly deleted, however, many screenshots circulated social media before it was taken down.
28-year-old Matthews, who played football with Kaepernick in college, has continuously expressed his support for Kaepernick on social media and defended their rights and intentions as players. Matthews claims that the silent protesting does not disrespect our flag and he greatly appreciates America, especially growing up in a military family—his father served 23 years in the Marines and his brother passed away 2 years ago while away in Afghanistan, reported ESPN.
He is also a known Trump critic. In recent days, Matthews praised Eminem for his freestyle rap bashing President Trump and also called Trump “disrespectful” in regards to his comment about believing players should be fired for kneeling.
Users who saw Matthews’ Tweet were not happy with his decision. Many joked that the player is not “irreplaceable” and insisted he quit if he feels that strongly about not wanting to stand during our country’s infamous theme song.
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