According to Jamie Erdahl of CBS Sports, Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin has said Sunday morning that his team will not be participating in the National Anthem ahead the game against the Chicago Bears.
— Jamie Erdahl ? Buckman (@JamieErdahl) September 24, 2017
Tomlin reportedly said his team will remain in the locker room until the National Anthem is over.
“We’re not going to play politics,” Tomlin said. “We’re football players, we’re football coaches. We’re not participating in the anthem today. Not to be disrespectful to the anthem, but to remove ourselves from this circumstance. People shouldn’t have to choose. If a guy wants to go about his normal business and participate in the anthem, he shouldn’t have to be forced to choose sides. If a guy feels the need to do something, he shouldn’t be separated from his teammate who chooses not to. So we’re not participating today. That’s our decision. We’re going to be 100 percent. We came here to play a football game. That’s our intent.”
The Steelers are obviously choosing not to participate in the National Anthem due to recent remarks made President Donald Trump against the NFL and its players. Trump recently suggested that owners fire players who kneel during the National Anthem and that fans consider walking out in protest “when somebody disrespects our flag.”
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell released a statement on Saturday following Trump’s comments.
“Divisive comments like these demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL, our great game and all of our players,” Goodell said in his statement.
Steelers team president Art Rooney II released a short statement later in the day.
“I believe the Commissioner made an appropriate statement, and I have nothing to add at this time.”
— NFLonCBS (@NFLonCBS) September 24, 2017
Mike Tomlin says that Steelers will stay in locker room for National Anthem. This is not an option, according to league policy manuals pic.twitter.com/ViG9BDU6SA
— Fᴏᴏᴛʙᴀʟʟ Zᴇʙʀᴀs (@footballzebras) September 24, 2017