NFL says it will not discipline teams that skipped national anthem
The three NFL teams that chose to stay in the locker room and did not participate in the national anthem will not be disciplined, a league spokesman said.
The Tennessee Titans, Seattle Seahawks and Pittsburgh Steelers all had their players and most team personnel stay in the locker room after President Trump's comments on Friday calling for players to be fired for a perceived disrespected to flag by kneeling.
NFL spokesperson Joe Lockhart called Trump's comments on player safety "out of touch," "outdated and wrongheaded and said that only Trump's knows "what's in his heart," when it comes to the President's view on race.
Steelers left tackle Alejandro Villanueva was the only member of that team to appear near the field before the playing of the national anthem. Villanueva, who was an Army Ranger and served in Afghanistan, stood near the tunnel with his hand over his heart.
The Seahawks said they would "not stand for the injustice that has plagued people of color in this country. Out of love for our country and in honor of the sacrifices made on our behalf, we unite to oppose those that would deny our most basic freedoms."
The Titans released a statement saying that staying in the locker room was the "best course of action."
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said that players shouldn't be forced to choose sides on the issue.
"We're not going to play politics," Tomlin said. "We're football players, we're football coaches. We're not participating in the anthem today -- not to be disrespectful to the anthem, but to remove ourselves from the circumstance.
On Sunday, more than 200 players either knelt or stayed in their respective locker rooms.