Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Stephon Tuitt said this week that he will not be taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem at National Football League games. Why? Because his grandmother immigrated to America and set his family up for success.
“I’m not kneeling for the flag and screw anybody who have a problem with that,” Tuitt wrote on Twitter.
“My grandmother was a immigrant from the Caribbean and age worked her ass off to bring 20 people over the right way,” he said. “She had no money and educated herself to be a nurse. She living good now.”
Athletes making millions of dollars playing sports have been kneeling all over — at MLB and NBA games, The NFL, where the practice began, is expected to see the protest move, too.
But some athletes are not joining in. Sam Coonrod of the San Francisco Giants last week refused to take a knee during Black Lives Matter event in Dodger Stadium, saying his Christian faith means he doesn’t kneel before anyone other than God. But he has other problems with the BLM movement as well.
“I just can’t get on board with a couple things I’ve read about Black Lives Matter, how they lean towards Marxism. And … they said some negative things about the nuclear family,” he said. “I just can’t get on board with that.”
Then there’s Mike Ditka.
The former NFL player and coach of the Chicago Bears, Ditka this week made clear how he feels about the practice of players kneeling during the national anthem.
“If you can’t respect our national anthem, get the hell out of the country,” Ditka said, according to TMZ Sports.
“That’s the way I feel. Of course, I’m old fashioned, so I’m only going to say what I feel.”
“You don’t protest against the flag and you don’t protest against this country who’s given you the opportunities to make a living playing a sport that you never thought would happen,” he said. “So, I don’t want to hear all the crap.”