The Pittsburgh Steelers may be making the biggest statement out of all the NFL teams in reaction to Donald Trump‘s comments calling for the firing of players who protest the national anthem by kneeling. Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin announced that the team as a whole would not participate in the anthem versus the Chicago Bears on Sunday.
In an interview with CBS sports, Tomlin said “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.”
Tomlin, in his 10th season with the Steelers is one of the Steelers is one of the longest tenured coaches in the league.
Players from the Baltimore Ravens and Jacksonville Jaguars kneeled in protest of the anthem in a early Sunday game in London, England. You can expect more protests throughout gameday.