Eagles rookie linebacker Myke Tavarres said Monday he planned to join Colin Kaepernick's protest and refuse to stand during the national anthem at upcoming games but reversed his decision later in the day.
Tavarres initially told ESPN that he would sit for the national anthem before upcoming games.
“We've got an issue in this country in this day and age, and I feel like somebody needs to step up and we all need to step up,” Tavarres said. “We've got that right. There's just a lot going on that people don't want to talk about, and I feel like us as athletes, we're looked at as role models. And I feel like with Colin Kaepernick, he's doing a great job for standing up in what he believes in, and most people may not like that, but that's his opinion, he's entitled to it, and I respect him for doing it.”
“I'm a rookie free agent, haven't signed any major contract, so there's not a lot of money on the line, I don't have any big endorsement deals on the line,” he added. “Really what's at stake is my pride and what kind of man would I be and what kind of African-American would I be if I didn't stand my ground on this issue we have today?”
Tavarres’s agent, Corey Williams, later said his client will stand.
Williams: "As a rookie, his goal is not to be a distraction for the Eagles. His coaches at Incarnate Word and I advised him to stand."— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) August 29, 2016
Tavarres led the University of the Incarnate Word with 110 tackles and also recorded 8.5 sacks and 22.5 tackles for loss to lead the Southland Conference.
Kaepernick chose not to stand for the anthem before San Francisco’s preseason game on Friday in protest of racial oppression. He said that he will continue to sit during the “Star Spangled Banner” at future games.
The NFL issued a statement that says players are “encouraged but not required to stand” during the anthem.