Robert Gehl reports that Tennessee Titans Wide Receiver Rishard Matthews said that he would rather quit the NFL altogether than stand for the national anthem.
“No I will be done playing football,” Matthews tweeted and ultimately deleted when asked if he would be willing to face punishment for not standing if a new rule is implemented.
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) October 12, 2017
Matthews later deleted the tweet, but the Internet is forever.
By backing himself into a corner, Matthews has effectively given himself no way out. What if there is a new rule passed? Then his bluff is called and Matthews will be forced to either quit a job that pays millions of dollars or be branded a hypocrite.
As The Daily Caller’s David Hookstead reported, this is a very dumb thing to say.
It wouldn’t be a problem if he had simply tweeted that he’d be very upset, but instead he took it all the way. Should be really interesting to if he ends up following through on his threat or not.
Matthews’ father served 23 years in the Marine Corps and his brother, another Marine, was killed in Afghanistan two years ago. He has been vocal about what he sees as racial injustice and police brutality in America.
ESPN reports that his protest was launched shortly after President Donald Trump’s comments on NFL players who choose to protest. Matthews previously refrained from protesting in respect of his brother, but after Trump’s comments, he said his brother would understand his intentions going forward.
On Wednesday, the NFL and the NFL Players Association released a joint statement stating there has been no change to the policy that recommends, but doesn’t require, players to stand for the anthem. Commissioner Roger Goodell, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith and player leadership will attend league meetings next week to discuss how to progress on social issues and discuss the subject of protesting during the anthem in a larger scale.
During their Week 3 game against the Seattle Seahawks, the Titans remained in their locker room during the anthem.
Tight end Delanie Walker said he received death threats after the Seahawks game after stating that fans who felt disrespected by athletes using their platform to protest don’t have to come to games.
Last month, Matthews pledged to donate $75,000 to organizations that support oppressed communities. He has begun following the path of college teammate Colin Kaepernick, who led the charge of NFL players protesting racial injustice and police brutality in this manner.
“Moving forward, I don’t want this to be a publicity stunt,” Matthews told ESPN last month. “I don’t want to take away from what the whole protest is about, which is oppression, police brutality and inequality in this country. I fully stand with my brother Kap, and I plan to continue to do that.”
Now Matthews will have to put his money where his mouth is, or be branded the ultimate hypocrite from here on out.
What do you think? Should Matthews quit? Should the league start demanding players show respect for our country? What will happen this weekend? Sound off below!