Tennessee Titans?wide receiver Rishard Matthews was one of many NFL players who felt personally attacked by President Donald Trump’s comments over the weekend against the NFL and its protesting players, most notably the “son of a bitch” reference, and Matthews plans to use his platform to advance the protest.
“I plan to kneel until the president apologizes for the comments that he made, because I felt like those were very disrespectful comments that he made,” Matthews said on ESPN’s NFL Live on Tuesday. “The league is made up of, I think, … over 70 percent African-Americans, so the people that would be kneeling for this cause would be African-Americans.
“To keep it honest, he was calling a lot of us, and I feel that he was calling myself, an S.O.B., and that’s not OK and very disrespectful. So I plan to kneel until the president apologizes.”
Free-agent quarterback? Colin Kaepernick began kneeling during the pregame national anthem last season, when he was a member of the San Francisco 49ers, as a way of protesting social inequality. Other players have decided to kneel or sit during the anthem over the course of the past year.
Speaking at a political rally in Alabama on Friday night, Trump said, “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out. He’s fired! He’s fired!’
At the White House on Tuesday,?Trump was asked about his comments.
“I wasn’t preoccupied with the NFL. I was ashamed of what was taking place,” he said. “Because to me that was a very important moment. I don’t think you can disrespect our country, our flag, our national anthem.”
Matthews’ father served in the military for 23 years.?Matthews’ brother was a Marine who died in?Afghanistan. So Matthews felt conflicted by the use of the anthem as a vehicle for the protest, but he said Sunday night that his stance shifted as it became more apparent to him that this message was more important…