Andy Lyons / Getty ImagesStephon Tuitt of the Pittsburgh Steelers reacts after making a play in a game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on Oct. 14, 2018. (Andy Lyons / Getty Images)
Veteran NFL player Stephon Tuitt went against the grain of the sports world Monday when he announced that he would refuse to kneel for the national anthem during the upcoming season.
Tuitt, who is entering his seventh season in the league, said he could not dishonor the flag that represents the country that has given him and his family so much.
The Pittsburgh Steelers defensive lineman became the only black NFL star to publicly distance himself from the anthem protests, according to Newsweek.
Those protests are expected to overtake the league when the season starts.
On Thursday, Tuitt expounded on why he will stand for his country’s flag in a post on social media.
“I stand for the flag because I am a proud American,” he wrote on Instagram.
“Like previously stated, this country has provided and rewarded my family in so many ways through our perseverance and hard work. I will continue to honor my country and be an example to my children to stand for what they believe in,” Tuitt said.
“In regards to police brutality and the black lives matter movement I will support these causes through other means. It’s unfortunate that a couple unprofessional individuals have caused such havoc on our country and damaged the trust of its citizens,” he continued.
Tuitt concluded his statement by reminding his followers that America is a place of opportunity for all.
“I will not let those individuals steer me from the fact on the opportunity this country gives for everyone. God Bless,” he wrote.
At least two other players responded positively to Tuitt’s post.
Steelers defensive end Tyson Alualu posted the “100” symbol signaling his agreement with his teammate, along with fist and praying hands emojis.
Fellow defensive lineman Nick Williams of the Detroit Lions said “facts” in his response, also with praying hands.
Many NFL players, coaches and the league itself have announced they intend to turn to political activism during the 2020 season.
Both sports leagues have embraced the Black Lives Matter political movement as live sports have returned to a country that has been altered in recent months by a pandemic and widespread civil and racial unrest.
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The leagues missed an opportunity to work out a solution to unify a divided nation, which could use sports to tune out of the madness for a few hours and bring people of all stripes together.
Instead, the NBA and MLB have transformed their respective sports into an extension of a Marxist political movement that is working to force its agenda on all of America.
There is no indication that the nation’s most popular sports league will attempt to foster an apolitical environment that is welcoming of all fans when the 2020 season begins.
Tuitt, in no uncertain terms, announced he would not join his NFL brethren if they decide to kneel and tarnish the sport with divisive politics and left-wing slogans.
In a series of tweets Monday, the 27-year-old touched on everything from personal finance advice for players to education.
He then announced he would stand for his country when the moment comes.
“Also I’m not kneeling for the flag and screw anybody who have a problem with that,” Tuitt said.
“My grandmother was a immigrant from the Carribean and age worked her ass off to bring 20 people over the right way. She had no money and educated herself to be a nurse. She living good now,” he wrote.
Tuitt appeared in six games during the 2019 season, accumulating 3.5 sacks and 18 solo tackles.
The former Notre Dame star has spent his entire NFL career with the Steelers.
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