After the social uproar free-agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick caused silently protesting racial injustice, the NFL instated a policy that prohibits players from kneeling during the national anthem ceremony before games in May. On Wednesday, with weeks left before the league’s preseason, Tennesse Titans defensive end Jurrell Casey said he plans to continue protesting, according to CNN Sports.
In the exclusive interview, Casey told the news network he will remain on the football field and kneel during the U.S. national anthem and plans to accept the fines that come with breaking the new rules. The policy states that players must “stand and show respect for the flag and the anthem,” if they are on the field or they can stay in the locker room before games.
— Tennessee Titans (@Titans) July 17, 2018
“I’m going to take a fine this year, why not?” said Casey during the NFL’s London promo tour. “I’m going to protest during the flag. That’s what I’m going to say now.”
Casey did not kneel last season, but he did raise his fist after the playing of the national anthem.
The three-time NFL Pro Bowler went on to say, “I’m going to take my fine. 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.”
Amy Adams Strunk, the Titans controlling owner, said she accepts the players’ rights to stay in the locker room. Since Casey’s comments, president and CEO of the team, Steve Underwood, told reports Thursday, he wanted to speak to the defensive end because he is “misunderstanding” the policy. Underwood said the team would get fined for the protests, not the individual player.
If Casey does protest this upcoming football season, there are sure to be drawbacks to his career in the same way the league ostracized Kaepernick. The former Super Bowl starting quarterback no longer plays for the NFL and is currently suing some owners for collusion.