NEW YORK (AP) — The Pittsburgh Steelers have decided to stay in their locker room for the national anthem before their game against the Chicago Bears, coach Mike Tomlin has told CBS.
The move was apparently in reaction to President Donald Trump’s suggestion that NFL owners fire players who kneel for the national anthem.
Several players from the Jaguars and Ravens decided to kneel in the first NFL game of the day in London. Then Tomlin said his players would not be on the sideline at Soldier Field in Chicago for the anthem.
Former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagilabue called President Donald Trump’s comments on NFL players “insulting and disgraceful.”
Tagliabue, who was in Charlotte, North Carolina, as a guest of Panthers owner Jerry Richardson, spoke to the media before Carolina’s game against the New Orleans Saints.
“For me to single out any particular group of players and call them SOB’s, to me, that is insulting and disgraceful,” Tagliabue said. “So I think the players deserve credit for what they do. And when it comes to speech they are entitled to speak. And we are entitled to listen. We are entitled to agree or disagree. But we’re not entitled to shut anybody’s speech down. Sometimes you don’t like what you hear and that is true in life in lots of contexts, but you can’t shut people down and be disgraceful when you are doing it.”
Richardson is not making a statement on the Trump’s remarks, per team spokesman Steven Drummond.