Hokey Pokey: NFL Player Says He’ll Sit For National Anthem, Then Says He’ll Stand
On Monday, Philadelphia Eagles rookie linebacker Myke Tavarres told ESPN that he would join San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s agenda and sit while the national anthem is being played.
According to ESPN, Tavarres said he almost sat when the anthem was played prior to Saturday night's game against the Indianapolis Colts in Indianapolis, but on Thursday night, when the Eagles play the New York Jets, he would definitely sit down.
Referring to his almost-sit-down Saturday night, Tavarres boasted that the reason he didn’t sit down was that he wasn’t front and center at the time: "Oh, I thought about it. Believe me, I definitely thought about it. And usually I'm front and center on the line with the rest of the guys, and that's since pre-K all the way up. Saturday's game, I stepped back, I was in the background, and it didn't feel right to me at all, and so I will be taking a stand -- or sitting down -- for the fourth game."
Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz discussed the issue with various players on Monday; one source informed ESPN that Malcolm Jenkins, Leodis McKelvin and Tavarres spoke.
Tavarres blathered to ESPN:
We've got an issue in this country in this day and age, and I feel like somebody needs to step up and we all need to step up. We've got that right. There's just a lot going on that people don't want to talk about, and I feel like us as athletes, we're looked at as role models. And I feel like with Colin Kaepernick, he's doing a great job for standing up in what he believes in, and most people may not like that, but that's his opinion, he's entitled to it, and I respect him for doing it.
Tavarres, who was undrafted, survived a round of cuts as the Eagles reduced their roster to 74 players. He added:
In this situation, I've really got nothing to lose. I'm a rookie free agent, haven't signed any major contract, so there's not a lot of money on the line, I don't have any big endorsement deals on the line. Really what's at stake is my pride and what kind of man would I be and what kind of African-American would I be if I didn't stand my ground on this issue we have today? [It] needs to be done. Will there be backlash? Probably. I don't think anyone has bought my jersey yet, so I don't know if it's going to be burned, but it's a major issue and I'm definitely going to stand my ground for this one.
Later on Monday, Tavarres decided to recant, apparently fleeing the “front and center” he craved by tweeting his change of heart: