The Tennessee Titans have turned the matter of the death threats against Pro Bowl tight end Delanie Walker over to the NFL as they prepare for Sunday’s AFC South matchup against the Houston Texans.
Walker issued a statement Thursday evening, saying that he and his family had received the threats, stemming from comments he made on Monday regarding the national anthem.
The Titans confirmed on Friday that they have let league security step in in the matter.
“We have been made aware of the threats to Delanie, and we have passed those along to NFL Security to examine,” the team’s statement said.
Walker was not in the Titans locker room on Friday during the open period. On Monday, Walker was asked about people being upset that the Titans had chosen to remain in the locker room during the playing of the national anthem before Sunday’s victory over the Seattle Seahawks, who also stayed inside during the anthem.
Walker had said fans who felt disrespected by the anthem actions did not have to attend games anymore.
Titans coach Mike Mularkey, trying to keep the team’s focus on this weekend’s game, reiterated that the matter has been turned over to the league to handle.
“We had a discussion about it and have turned it over to the NFL, and will let them deal with it. We’re very comfortable and confident that it will all be settled. We did not make a big issue of it, but we are definitely aware of it,” Mularkey said.
As for Walker, Mularkey said, “Everybody respects Delanie Walker. I know he’s about as much of a pro as I’ve ever been around on and off the field. So that’s important.”
As for the Titans plans this Sunday regarding what to do during the anthem, Mularkey indicated that players have freedom to express themselves.
“I think everybody has freedom of speech. They can do what they want to do,” Mularkey said.
Receiver Rishard Matthews, who had said earlier this week he would kneel for the anthem until President Trump apologizes for remarks made last week, was disgusted by the threats to Walker.
“We have a Pro Bowl player getting death threats. That kind of speaks for itself. I saw the post and it was very unfortunate,” he said.
Safety Johnathan Cyprien and receiver Corey Davis, both out with hamstring injuries, are the only two Titans players who will be out of Sunday’s game for Tennessee.
Linebacker Erik Walden (groin) and Walker (hamstring) will not be listed on the injury report with a designation after missing Wednesday’s practice.