Ravens National Anthem Singer Resigns over Protest Reactions

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistSeptember 27, 2017

Baltimore Ravens players kneel down during the playing of the U.S. national anthem before an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley Stadium in London, Sunday Sept. 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Matt Dunham/Associated Press

Baltimore Ravens national anthem singer Joey Odoms announced his resignation Tuesday, citing fan reaction to protests of social injustice during the national anthem around the NFL.

According to ESPN.com's Jamison Hensley, Odoms explained on Facebook that the "tone/actions of a large number of NFL fans in the midst of our country's cultural crisis have convinced me that I do not belong there. Someone once told me to always 'go where you're welcomed.'"

Odoms later told WJZ he supports players' rights to express themselves but felt it was best to remove himself from the position given the tenor of local and national dialogue.

"I support the protest personally—I fought for that right, but I don't like people using people like me to attack those people who are exercising their right," he said, per CBS Baltimore.

Odoms added that he thought if he explained what his views were, "a segment of the fanbase would attack me."

Odoms started singing the anthem at M&T Bank Stadium in 2014 after serving as a soldier in Afghanistan. He is a member of Maryland's national guard.

"We greatly appreciate the work Joey did for us, and we thank him," the Ravens said in a statement, per Hensley.