Joey Odoms, the national anthem singer for the Ravens, announced on Facebook Wednesday that he is resigning as the NFL team’s official singer after protests erupted leaguewide following President Trump’s remarks over the weekend.
The Army veteran and singer wrote in his farewell post that he resigned, after being awarded the position in 2014 following head coach John Harbaugh’s visit to his base in Afghanistan the previous year, because of the NFL “fans who attack players for protesting.”
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“Fans who attack players for protesting, (a right in which I fought to defend) but are simply not interested in understanding why, is the reason I am resigning,” he wrote on his profile page.
Odoms was awarded the position after beating out 49 other hopefuls in a competition to find the team’s new anthem singer in 2014. He has also acted professionally on television and is a former Baltimore 911 operator.
His decision to resign arrives just two days after several Ravens players, including Terrell Suggs and Mike Wallace, dropped to a knee during the national anthem before Sunday’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars in London.
“The people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting at the Ravens organization have been nothing but nice to me,” Odoms wrote in an earlier post, “however the tone/actions of a large number of NFL fans in the midst of our country’s cultural crisis, have convinced me that I do not belong there. Someone once told me to always ‘go where you’re welcomed.’ This is not an emotional reaction to recent events, rather an ethical decision that part of me regrets but my core knows is the right choice.
“Thank you so much for the opportunity to grow as a performer and for allowing me to live out a dream of sharing my gift with you.”