Speaking to the NFL on CBS’s Jamie Erdahl, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin made his team’s perspective clear:
— NFLonCBS (@NFLonCBS) September 24, 2017
“It’s about us remaining solid,” he said. “We’re not going to be divided by anything said … We’re not going to let divisive times or divisive individuals affect our agenda.”
Tomlin stressed that this was not a matter of disrespecting the anthem or the ideals it represents, but rather of remaining solid as a team in a pursuit of a single goal.
Protests during the anthem have been a staple of NFL conversation since former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began kneeling in the 2016 preseason, seeking to bring attention to issues of police brutality and racial injustice. At an Alabama rally Friday night, President Donald Trump called for the firing of any player who knelt during the anthem, but that only galvanized support for the right to protest in both front offices and locker rooms across the NFL.
Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports and the author of EARNHARDT NATION, on sale now at Amazon or wherever books are sold. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or find him on Twitter or on Facebook.