Seattle Seahawks said they would not participate in the national anthem before Sunday’s game against the Tennessee Titans.
The players of the Seahawks sent a statement minutes before kickoff.
“As a team, we have decided we will participate in the national anthem,” the Seahawks said. “We will not stand for the injustice that has plagued people of color in this country. Out of love for our country and in honor of the sacrifices made on our behalf, we unite to oppose those that would deny our most basic freedoms. We remain committed in continuing to work toward equality and justice for all.”
The Seahawks responded to President Trump’s comments made at a rally on Friday. Trump said that NFL should punish and possibly fire those did not stand for the anthem.
“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out. He’s fired! He’s fired!” Trump said.
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“We fully support our players’ use of their freedom of speech and peaceful action to highlight the existing racial and other divides in our country. Our players completely respect the military and veterans of our country; however, they believe these issues need to come to the forefront,” the team said in a statement on Saturday.
The Seahawks have two of the most outspoken players in the NFL in cornerback Richard Sherman and defensive end Michael Bennett, who have both ripped Trump for his rhetoric and comments.