Tennessee Titans defensive end Jurrell Casey says he will continue to raise a fist during the national anthem next season to protest against social injustice, saying he will ‘take my fine’.
The 28-year-old, who has played seven seasons with the Titans, said at an NFL promotional event in London that he will carry on the protest during the pre-match anthem despite the new rules and pressure applied by President Donald Trump.
He told CNN: ‘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.’
In May, NFL owners instituted a new anthem policy requiring all players and league personnel on the sidelines to stand for the anthem. Anyone who does not wish to stand will have the option to stay in the locker room.
The change gives each club the ability to set a policy to ensure on-field respect of the anthem and if a player protests on the sideline, the NFL will fine the team. Teams would have the power to fine players under the new policy.
Casey said: ‘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.’