Last week while in London, Tennessee Titans defensive lineman Jurrell Casey caused a stir when he told reporters that he would simply pay his fine, as it regarded to his national anthem protest.
Casey, who along with some other Titans teammates, raised a fist at the conclusion of the anthem before each game as their way to try and bring awareness to what they see as social injustice. Casey, nor any Titans player for that matter, never took a knee during the anthem, though receiver Rishard Matthews elected to stay in the locker room last season while the anthem played.
Nonetheless, with the anthem controversy still a hot button topic for the NFL and in politics, Casey’s remarks last week reignited the matter once again.
When Casey spoke to the media after the Titans first day of training camp Thursday, he revisited and tried to clarify his stance on his remarks and his protests.
“At the end of the day, everybody has their opinion on what the situation is. Me and my wife will continue to work in the community and do what we do, and that is bring light to social injustice,” Casey said. “That’s what we’re all about. We’ll continue spreading the word.”
Casey was asked how people felt about his protests, and he said, “It was mixed. Some people supported it. Some people respected the fact that I didn’t take a knee during the anthem and respected that I did it after the anthem. Some still hated it, because they felt it was racist and more of a black power thing.”
As for whether he was disappointed that the protest message he is trying to convey is misunderstood or lost in the opposition to it, Casey said it did not bother him.
“It don’t really bother me. At the end of the day, everybody is going to have their opinions about it. I’m just here to try to continue to open people’s eyes and switch their mindsets,” Casey said. “It doesn’t bother me that you don’t agree. Not everybody is going to agree with everything. But at the end of the day, I think everybody around here should want equal respect for everybody. That should just be human nature, but not everybody is going to want that. But I’m going to continue to fight and try to change people’s mindsets about how they see the movement.
“Get the anthem and protests out of your mind. That’s not what this is about. We don’t have nothing against the NFL and don’t have nothing against the United States as a whole. The biggest thing that we right have now is the way the justice system is set up for minorities. That’s what the whole battle is, trying to bring light and enlighten what is going on in the minority community.”