Tennessee Titans defensive tackle Jurrell Casey said he plans to protest the NFL’s new national anthem policy and live with the potential consequences.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced in May that the league would enact a national anthem policy for the 2018 season that requires players and league personnel to either stand for the anthem or remain in the locker room.
The policy subjects teams to a fine if a player or any other personnel do not show respect for the anthem.
Casey’s protest was to raise his fist after the playing of the national anthem the last two years and he indicated he will continue to do that.
“I’m going to take my fine,” the 28-year-old Casey said on Wednesday, via CNN. “It is what it is, I ain’t going to let them stop me from doing what I want to do. If they want to have these battles between players and organizations, this is the way it’s going to be.
“… There is always going to be blowback, that is what America is about. 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.”
The anthem issue has been a divisive one, with some feeling that players who don’t stand for the song are being disrespectful to, among others, the U.S. military. Others feel it is the players’ right to protest perceived social injustice peacefully.
Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started the movement in 2016 to kneel during the national anthem as a protest to denounce police brutality against African-Americans, social injustice and racial inequality.
Casey had 60 tackles, six sacks and one forced fumble in 16 games last season.