Steve Stricker: USA Team Won't Stage Anthem Protest During 2017 Presidents Cup

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistSeptember 26, 2017

JERSEY CITY, NJ - SEPTEMBER 26:  Captain Steve Stricker of the United States Presidents Cup Team speaks to the media during a press conference prior to the Presidents Cup on September 26, 2017 at Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, New Jersey.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Steve Stricker, who is serving as the United States captain for this week's Presidents Cup, said his team would not be protesting during the national anthem at the event.  

"We've had that discussion already," he told reporters on Tuesday, per Jason Sobel of ESPN.com. "None of my players want to do that."

He continued: "I just wanted to know what they wanted to do and how we wanted to proceed as a team. We are going to do what we always do and that's take off our hat and put our hands across our chest and over our heart and respect the flag. So that's what we're planning on doing."

Rickie Fowler had shared similar sentiments on Sunday.

"I don't see it being a big issue next week with either team," he said. "I don't think there's ever going to be a situation where I don't recognize the national anthem. There's a lot that went into giving us the freedom. I'm not saying guys can't do that, that's their freedom of speech, they have the right to do that. For me, personally, being around [instructor] Butch [Harmon], someone who fought in Vietnam, the flag represents a lot. I'm going to pay respect to the people who gave us our rights and our freedom."

Protesting before the national anthem became a national conversation in August 2016, when former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick sat during the anthem before a preseason game in protest of police brutality and racial discrimination. Several other players protested in a similar fashion both last season and into this year.

But over the weekend, President Donald Trump lashed out against any NFL players who chose to kneel during the anthem, saying they should be kicked off the field or fired entirely while calling them "sons of bitches."

The NFL responded over the weekend, from a number of players kneeling to entire teams either locking arms or remaining off the field during the anthem. 

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