Tennessee Congresswoman and gubernatorial candidate Diane Black said Thursday that the NFL’s new anthem policy isn’t enough to make her change her stance on boycotting the Tennessee Titans and NFL games on Sundays.
On Wednesday, the NFL adopted a new policy stating that all players on the field during the playing of “The Star Spangled Banner” must stand or be fined by the league. Players who do not wish to stand for the anthem were instructed to stay inside locker room or out of sight in the tunnel during the playing of the anthem.
Black, a Republican from Gallatin who is running for governor, made news in April when she tweeted that she was cancelling her Titans season tickets over the national anthem kneeling by NFL players. She indicated in an interview with the Portland Leader on Thursday that the league’s new policy still is not good enough in her mind.
“I don’t know that that totally makes me feel better. That tells me that there are still a number of players that don’t respect our country,” Black said. “If you stay in the locker room, what does that say? That says that says I don’t respect that flag and I don’t respect that anthem. And I’m not sure I want to give my money to players who are making millions and sometimes hundreds of millions of dollars who don’t respect our country.”
No Titans players knelt during the anthem last season. The Titans did stay inside the locker room during the anthem prior to its Week 3 home game against the Seattle Seahawks last September, the first game after President Donald Trump’s remarks about players kneeling. The decision for both teams to stay inside the locker room that day caused a backlash, and then-Titans head coach Mike Mularkey instituted a policy for the rest of the season for his team similar to what the NFL adopted on Wednesday.
Receiver Rishard Matthews, who was a college teammate of anthem kneeling originator Colin Kaepernick, was the only Titans player who chose to remain inside the locker room, doing so for the rest of the season, except on Veterans Day.