Titans star Jurrell Casey made headlines during training camp this year, when he told the media that he would continue to do what he did “last year and the year before that.” Which was to “peacefully” protest at the end of the national anthem, by raising his fist.
However, on Saturday, Casey offered a surprise twist to his end of anthem routine. Instead of raising a fist, the three-time Pro Bowler saluted at the end of the Star-Spangled Banner.
After the game, Casey explained his reasoning for the change.
“I’m trying to make sure I use my platform the right way and find different ways we can use this platform in a better way,” Casey said. “Not necessarily just as a protest but also helping the community out and trying to find solutions that we can get involved with using the platform.”
The NFL and NFL Players Association (NFLPA) continue to work towards a joint agreement on a new anthem policy for the league. In May, the NFL handed down a new policy which mandated that all players on the field “stand and show respect” for the flag during the playing of the national anthem. The policy allowed players who didn’t want to show respect for the anthem, to remain inside the locker room.
However, the NFLPA filed a grievance against the league over the new policy. Soon after, the NFL suspended their new anthem policy and entered into discussions with the NFLPA on a negotiated policy. As of this writing, the two sides have failed to come to an agreement.
The first full week of the NFL regular season begins on September 9th.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn