NFL player says he will ‘be done playing football’ if required to stand for national anthem


CHICAGO, IL – NOVEMBER 27: Rishard Matthews #18 of the Tennessee Titans makes a catch for a touchdown in the second quarter against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on November 27, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — One NFL player says he will ‘be done playing football’ if the league requires him to stand during the national anthem.

Tennessee Titans wide receiver Rishard Matthews said on Twitter that if a new rule is enforced, he’s calling it quits.

The answer came after a WSMV producer asked Matthews if he’d stay in the locker room during the anthem if the NFL created a rule. He replied, “No, I will be done playing football.”

The tweet has since been deleted.

“Moving forward, I don’t want this to be a publicity stunt,” Matthews told ESPN last month. “I don’t want to take away from what the whole protest is about, which is oppression, police brutality and inequality in this country. I fully stand with my brother Kap, and I plan to continue to do that.”

In recent weeks, players have refused to stand during the anthem to protest racial inequality. The protests started after former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started kneeling to protest police mistreatment of African Americans.

Right now, NFL rules say players should stand, but they’re not required to do so.

On Sunday, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said he would bench any player who disrespects the flag.

“If there’s anything that is disrespectful to the flag, then we will not play,” Jones said. “You understand? If we are disrespecting the flag, then we won’t play. Period.”

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