Prior to the game between the Seattle Seahawks and Tennessee Titans in Nashville on Sunday, players from both teams elected to take the national anthem protests to new heights by refusing to exit the locker rooms until after the anthem was over.
— Gregg Bell (@gbellseattle) September 24, 2017
The Titans’ players issued a statement saying the “players jointly decided this was the best course of action.”
But the wife of Titans’ wide receiver Eric Decker’s, singer Jessie James Decker, is crying foul.
Decker’s wife, who has sang the national anthem at multiple NFL games, said her husband was “not made aware it was time to go out for the game.”
“Unfortunately a decision was made for him without him knowing,” Decker said, according to a report by TMZ Sports.
She also took to Instagram to express her thoughts, and her husband commented on by saying simply,
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.
In her post, Decker said the song often brought her grandfather to tears as she would sing it for him. The Deckers have strong ties to the military as both of her grandfathers fought in the Vietnam War.
Decker’s comments generated many positive comments, as well as some critics who threatened to unfollow her.
The irony, of course, is the fans who support protesters and believe they should be able to express their thoughts freely often cry foul and threaten people like Decker who express their support for the anthem.
The Titans have yet to comment on the situation regarding Decker, but this report could pick up steam if it’s confirmed that Decker was forced into a protest against his will.
Whether Sunday’s actions by NFL players, coaches and even some owners will be a one-week display or continue through the season remains to be seen. What is known is the league’s TV ratings were down again Sunday, although by a smaller percentage than the first two weeks of the season.
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