NFL players were not required to be on the sidelines during the national anthem for games prior to 2009.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Tennessee Titans wide receiver Rishard Matthews appears to be absolute in his decision to stay inside during the national anthem, saying he is willing to give up his profession rather than being forced to change his protest over social issues.
If the NFL passes the rule and players actually leave the league as a result, the national attention - good and bad - will only continue to shine on an issue that the league is desperately trying to move away from.
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Soon after publishing the tweet, Matthews deleted it.
Matthews grew up in a military household. His half-brother, who was killed in Afghanistan, served 10 years in the Marines and his father served 21 years in the Marines. It was a stance started by Colin Kaepernick, but the protests became a national debate and an NFL wide phenomenon when president Donald Trump called protesting players sons of bitches. He also shared patriotic posts on social media honoring his brother, even saluting after scoring a touchdown last season two days after Veteran's Day. He has begun following the path of college teammate Colin Kaepernick, who led the charge of National Football League players protesting racial injustice and police brutality in this manner. "#ImWithKap All About The People Without A Voice!"
Last month, Matthews pledged to donate $75,000 to organizations that support oppressed communities. Matthews posted in a string of Tweets on October 5. "Love thy neighbor as much as you love yourself!"