Tennessee Titans defensive end Jurrell Casey, won’t be taking a bended knee during the national anthem and plans to protest despite new rules that penalize players who protest on the field during NFL games, reports CNN.
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Casey is the first player to publicly denounce theNFL’s new policy that was adopted in May which promises to fine players and league personnel who kneel on the sidelines during the national anthem.
“I’m going to protest during the flag — that’s what I’m going to say now,” Casey told CNN during a promotional event in London.
“I’m going to take a fine this year, why not?”
Casey’s defiance could ultimately have some drawbacks for the three-time NFL Pro Bowler, like it did for Colin Kaepernick who first launched the kneeling protests.
Kaepernick made a name for himself both on and off the field for his ongoing activism. When he was still in the NFL, playing for the San Francisco 49ers, he made headlines for taking a knee during the national anthem beginning in the 2016 season.
That action spurred on hundreds of similar protests, with athletes across the country participating in similar protests of race relations in the United States and police brutality.
Kaepernick is now suing the NFL, claiming that he was blackballed from being hired after leaving the 49ers because of his activism.
President Donald Trump, who recently put an ugly stain on American democracy with his allegiance to side with Russia over trusting US Intelligence officials, called the kneeling protests unpatriotic and disrespectful to our country.
Under the new NFL rules, if players do not follow the NFL’s “no kneeling” rule, or even sit, they are subject to a fine.
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NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said previously about the new rules that the NFL is “dedicated to continuing our collaboration with players to advance the goals of justice and fairness in all corners of our society.”
The league will update its game operations manual to include the new requirement.
“The efforts by many of our players sparked awareness and action around issues of social justice that must be addressed,” Goodell said in the statement. “The platform that we have created together is certainly unique in professional sports and quite likely in American business. We are honored to work with our players to drive progress.
“It was unfortunate that on-field protests created a false perception among many that thousands of NFL players were unpatriotic. This is not and was never the case.”