Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin told CBS Sports the team will not be participating in the national anthem on Sunday when they take on the Chicago Bears. The Steelers will stay in the locker room.
Over the weekend, NFL players blasted President Donald Trump for comments he made about those who protest the national anthem.
The NFL and players’ union pushed back against the president’s remarks, defending players rights to peacefully protest. Multiple team owners also defended their players’ rights.
Trump refused to back down, tweeting multiple times over Saturday and Sunday that any player kneeling during the anthem should be fired.
The showdown may lead even more players to protest via gestures on the field, which would put the league and the broadcasters that show games in an awkward position.
Last season, free-agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick was the first to sit out the national anthem in protest of the treatment of African-Americans in America, especially at the hands of police officers.
Since then, numerous other players have protested in similar fashion. While some were said to be interested, no team picked up Kaepernick’s contract this season, which some NFL insiders said may be due to his actions.
Miami Dolphins players were seen during warmups Sunday morning wearing black t-shirts with the hastag “#IMWITHKAP” in support of Kaepernick.