Jessie James Decker Defends Husband Eric Following NFL National Anthem Protests
Jessie James Decker is defending her husband, Tennessee Titans wide receiver Eric Decker, from social media criticism following his team's decision on Sunday (Sept. 24) to remain in their locker room during the singing of the National Anthem. The singer says the choice was made for her NFL player husband.
On Sunday, following comments by President Donald Trump about players such as former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick choosing to kneel during the National Anthem in order to protest racial inequality in the United States, a number of NFL teams released statements condemning Trump’s words or otherwise showed their disapproval for what he said. Both the Titans and their opponents in Sunday's game, the Seattle Seahawks, chose to remain in their locker rooms during "The Star-Spangled Banner;" in a statement, the Titans explained that they made the decision in order to "be unified in our actions today," and that "[t]he players jointly decided this was the best course of action."
"Our commitment to the military and our community is resolute," the Titans' statement continues, "and the absence of our team for the National Anthem shouldn’t be misconstrued as unpatriotic.”
James Decker, however, says that her husband "wasn’t made aware that a decision had been made for him until he came out and it was over.”
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"If he had known he would have been out there hand over heart," she adds, replying to comments on an Instagram video she shared. "Unfortunately, he wasn’t made aware it was time to head to the field as they always do every game.”
Decker himself has not commented on the situation. The video that his wife posted, however, is of her singing the National Anthem, and her caption talks about how much she loves singing it and respects what it stands for.
"I think about how my grandfather paw paw Tim would ask me to sing this song for him every time I saw him and how he would make me turn the other way to sing it so he could just weep and cry as hard as he wanted because it meant so much to him. I think about all of our troops I got to visit with and spend time with in the Middle East when I went over seas to sing for them. I think about all of the men crying because they missed their wives so much, or the man telling me he hadn't seen his baby girl yet since she was born. When I sing this song I think about them," Decker writes. "This song is about them. It's not about me. That's what I think about every time I sing it."
Meghan Linsey, who performed the National Anthem at Sunday's Titans vs. Seahawks game, has also made headlines for her decision to kneel in solidarity with protesting NFL players after finishing the song.
"I love the American flag, but a symbol is nothing without the people it represents, so [on Sunday], I kneeled for those who are mistreated, beaten down and disregarded," Linsey says in a statement. "I knew there would be some backlash from people who don’t understand, but there has also been such an overwhelming amount of support from those who applauded and knelt with me, and I’m so grateful for that."
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