Jessie James Decker is coming to husband Eric Decker‘s defense, claiming the NFL player didn’t necessarily want to be part of the Tennessee Titans absence during the national anthem ahead of their game on Sunday.
In a statement, the Titans announced they would remain inside locker room during the playing of the “Star-Spangled Banner” before their game against the Seattle Seahawks.
“As a team, we wanted to be unified in our actions today. The players jointly decided this was the best course of action,” the statement said. “Our commitment to the military and our community is resolute and the absence of our team for the national anthem shouldn’t be misconstrued as unpatriotic.”
However, Jessie said her husband, a wide receiver for the Titans, was unaware of the protest.
“Sadly he wasn’t made aware that a decision had made for him until he came out and it was over,” the 29-year-old country singer said in response to an Instagram follower’s comment.
In response to another fan, she wrote, “If he had known he would have been out there hand over heart. Unfortunately, he wasn’t made aware it was time to head to the field as they always do every game.”
One of my favorite things to do is sing the national anthem. I think about my dad, my uncles, my cousins, both grandfathers who fought in the Vietnam war. I think about how my grandfather paw paw Tim would ask me to sing this song for him every time I saw him and how he would make me turn the other way to sing it so he could just weep and cry as hard as he wanted because it meant so much to him. I think about all of our troops I got to visit with and spend time with in the Middle East when I went over seas to sing for them. I think about all of the men crying because they missed their wives so much, or the man telling me he hadn't seen his baby girl yet since she was born. When I sing this song I think about them. This song is about them. It's not about me. That's what I think about every time I sing it. I love our country so much. And we should all love and respect each other because this is the greatest country in the world. I see the love. I see the unity in all walks of life on a daily basis and It makes me so proud to be an American….. so In the words of Forrest Gump. That's all I have to say about that.
Jessie, 29, shared a video of her singing the national anthem on Sept. 10 and wrote what the song meant to her.
“One of my favorite things to do is sing the national anthem,” she wrote. “I think about my dad, my uncles, my cousins, both grandfathers who fought in the Vietnam war. I think about how my grandfather paw paw Tim would ask me to sing this song for him every time I saw him and how he would make me turn the other way to sing it so he could just weep and cry as hard as he wanted because it meant so much to him.”
She added that the song is about troops who have sacrificed to fight for the nation.
“I love our country so much,” Jessie wrote. “And we should all love and respect each other because this is the greatest country in the world. I see the love. I see the unity in all walks of life on a daily basis and it makes me so proud to be an American.”
Before facing off in London, multiple players on both the Baltimore Ravens and Jacksonville Jaguars took a knee during the national anthem on Sunday.
Jaguars owner Shad Khan, the only non-white owner in the NFL, stood and linked arms with players Marcedes Lewis and Telvin Smith.
According to ESPN, several Miami Dolphins players donned ‘IMWITHKAP’ shirts ahead of their game against the New York Jets.
WATCH: The National Anthem Takes Center Stage Across the NFL
In August 2016, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick made headlines — and sparked a movement — when he took a knee during the national anthem.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick said at the time. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
During a rally speech in Alabama on Friday, Trump stated, “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out, you’re fired.’”
He followed this up by pouring more gasoline on the fire with a series of tweets. “If a player wants the privilege of making millions of dollars in the NFL, or other leagues, he or she should not be allowed to disrespect…our Great American Flag (or Country) and should stand for the National Anthem,” he wrote. “If not, YOU’RE FIRED. Find something else to do!”
Numerous celebrities — including Diddy — have also joined in standing behind the players, causing a resurgence of the #TakeAKnee hashtag on social media.