Just a day after NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell urged all teams to institute a policy that requires their players to stand during the national anthem, at least one professional athlete said there would be an “uproar” if they’re forced to honor the American flag.
Speaking during an interview with ESPN reporter Adam Schefter, Buccaneers defensive lineman Gerald McCoy lashed out at the commissioner and team owners who ban their players from protesting the national anthem.
“I don’t think guys are gonna like it. I think it’s gonna be an uproar if that is to happen because you’re basically taking away a constitutional right to freedom of speech. If guys wanna have a, I guess you would call it a peaceful protest, I don’t think it’s right to take that away,” McCoy said.
McCoys comments come as team captains and the league commissioner find new ways to prohibit players from demonstrating against the US flag. The NFL has seen ratings plummet and ticket sales sink after weeks of player protests, and are struggling to find ways to move past the national controversy.
President Trump applauded Commissioner Goodell’s comments on social media Tuesday, saying it was “about time” the NFL “respected” our country and national anthem.
“It is about time that Roger Goodell of the NFL is finally demanding that all players STAND for our great National Anthem-RESPECT OUR COUNTRY,” posted the President.