While an adoring media and angry fans alike focus in on the handful of NFL players still engaging in protests during the national anthem, it’s important to remember that the majority of players aren’t participating in the controversial protests.
Even one player who formerly raised a fist in protest during the anthem has shifted his stance somewhat and instead raised his hand to his head in a salute to the flag during a preseason game Saturday night, saying he wanted to “use this platform in a better way.” But that didn’t sit well with one Fox Sports analyst.
Three-time Pro Bowl defensive lineman Jurrell Casey of the Tennessee Titans had previously had issued a salute before he started to raise a fist of protest at the end of the anthem the past couple of seasons, and had vowed earlier this year to continue protesting in spite of any new league rules to the contrary. However, he has never taken a knee during the anthem.
AP reports RT AP_NFL: Jameis Winston has strong outing for Bucs in preseason win over Titans; Tennessee’s Jurrell Casey salutes after national anthem TeresaMWalker https://t.co/KxVu5Pm7o9 pic.twitter.com/yVXnI6gDio
— 🇺🇸Channel1 America (@channel1america) August 19, 2018
Using a platform the right way
After the game, Casey explained, “Before I started doing the raising a fist I did the salute, and as of right now we’re working on things that get things moving on the social justice platform. So therefore, 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.”
“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,” he added, making it clear that while he still supported the social justice causes, he nevertheless had realized the delivery and timing of the message needed some adjustments.
But Casey’s modification was deemed unacceptable by Fox Sports 1 analyst Skip Bayless, who blasted Casey as “weak” for saluting the flag and claimed he had “lost all respect” for the player.
“Weak,” “caved in,” “saluting the president,” “lost all respect”
Bayless declared, “I’m sorry, but this is all-time weak. This is nothing but a sell-out because he didn’t just stand quietly for the anthem … he went all the way to I’m going to salute.”
“So, now you have completely caved in — I assume to social media or backlash from your friends and family. I have no idea. But he caved in,” the analyst continued. “It looks so weak at a time when the president of the United States continues to attack NFL players. It looks like you’re saluting the president.”
“I don’t know. I was dumbfounded by this, and I lost all respect that I had so hugely gained for him when he first made his stance and statement,” Bayless added.
This NFL player who has been engaging in protest during the national anthem came to realize that he could make better use of his platform to still get his message out — without alienating his key audience with a disrespectful protest.
But in the eyes of a Trump-hating liberal sports analyst, this made Casey nothing more than a “sell-out” who “caved in” to pressure. We can only wonder if the left will condemn Bayless for his disparaging attack on a player or if he’ll get a pass since he hates the president and supports the protests.