Jurrell Casey Says He'll Protest During Anthem: 'I'm Going to Take a Fine'

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJuly 18, 2018

NASHVILLE, TN - AUGUST 27: Jurrell Casey #99, Wesley Woodyard #59 and Brian Orakpo #98 of the Tennessee Titans walk to the field prior to a preseason game against the Chicago Bears at Nissan Stadium on August 27, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

In the wake of the NFL's new rule regarding protests during the national anthem, Tennessee Titans defensive tackle Jurrell Casey said he's prepared to accept any fine as a result of his actions on the sideline prior to games. 

"I'm going to take a fine this year, why not?" Casey said Wednesday, per CNN's Motez Bishara. "I'm going to protest during the flag. That's what I'm going to say now."

"I'm going to take my fine," Casey added. "It is what it is, I ain't going to let them stop me from doing what I want to do. If they want to have these battles between players and organizations, this is the way it's going to be."

In an effort to curb the protest movement throughout the league, NFL owners approved a new policy that mandates players and team personnel must stand during the anthem if they're present on the sideline. Those who don't wish to stand can remain in the locker room.

Not only could teams be fined for players or staff kneeling during the anthem, but NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell also has the right to issue discipline.

"Around the NFL, guys are definitely not happy about it," Casey said of the rule. "I feel it's not right, I don't think it was a good decision for the NFL to come up with that ruling. But they have their reasons for what they've done."

Many saw the NFL's decision as the direct result of harsh comments toward the league by President Donald Trump.

The New York Times' Ken Belson and Mark Leibovich reported in April that owners had met with players and league executives to discuss the issue and that owners were "intent on finding a way to avoid Trump's continued criticism."

It appears the new policy hasn't achieved its intended effect. Speaking at a rally on July 5, Trump told supporters the idea of allowing players to stay in the locker room "in many ways [is] worse."