Tennessee Titans star Jurrell Casey says that he’ll continue his protests during the playing of the national anthem this coming season, even if he gets fined.
Casey told CNN Sport that he won’t stop his anti-America protests no matter what the league wants, CNN reported.
“I’m going to take a fine this year, why not?” Casey said during an event in London. “I’m going to protest during the flag. That’s what I’m going to say now.”
According to NFL rules, any fines for protests will be assessed to the teams, not the individual players. Though, teams will have the option of fining players should they choose.
The three-time pro-bowl player is the most prominent player thus far to announce his intention to continue protesting against the country for the 2018 season.
The league likely hoped that its rules change introduced in May would put an end to player protests. The rule maintains that players must stand on the sidelines in honor of the national song or, if they don’t want to stand for the anthem, to stay in the locker room during the tune.
While more direct, Casey’s proclamation of continued protests is not the first time players have noted that the protests will probably continue despite the new rules. Not long after the rule was announced, Sports Illustrated reported that players had already started talking of ways to skirt the new rule.
An even stronger threat to the new rule occurred when the National Football League Players Association filed a grievance over the rule this month.
JUST IN: NFLPA files grievance challenging NFL's new anthem policy:
"The union’s claim is that this new policy, imposed by the NFL’s governing body without consultation with the NFLPA, is inconsistent with the collective bargaining agreement and infringes on player rights." pic.twitter.com/YJu7hbrUL9
— NBC News (@NBCNews) July 10, 2018
Casey also insisted that former San Francisco 49ers second-string quarterback Colin Kaepernick is being mistreated by the league because he was left unsigned since he turned free agent at the end of the 2016 season.
‘I think he definitely deserves it,’ he said. ‘For all these trash quarterbacks you see that get a shot, that come in and sit on the bench all day, you got a starting quarterback that’s out there that can go out there and play.
‘You know he has the skill set to be a starting quarterback, and you hold him out just because he is speaking his mind. At the end of the day, it speaks (volumes) on what these people really think about you.’
Casey also noted that players are “definitely not happy” about the new anthem 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,” he said.
The third-round pick also said that he does not care what fans think of his protests.
“They always like to go on social media and go hard. It is what it is, at the end of the day, I don’t pay no mind to it. I’m going to do what I do that’s going to bring light to my community,” he said.
The other players attending the NFL’s British event were not very keen to back Casey’s protest proclamation. For one, Jaguars kicker Josh Lambo said he is proud to stand for the anthem. But, Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Mack Hollins, Los Angeles Chargers linebacker Kyle Emanuel, and Seattle Seahawks cornerback Neiko Thorpe each said that they were not interested in commenting on the topic.
The players were in England to promote the three games the league has scheduled for Wembley Stadium in October.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.