Titans WR says he will quit team if NFL makes new rule on anthem - WSMV News 4

Titans WR says he will quit team if NFL makes new rule on anthem

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Titans WR Rishard Matthews tells News 4 he would quit playing in the NFL if they began requiring teams to stand for the National Anthem. (WSMV) Titans WR Rishard Matthews tells News 4 he would quit playing in the NFL if they began requiring teams to stand for the National Anthem. (WSMV)
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Tennessee Titans wide receiver Rishard Matthews will not stay in the locker room or pay a fine if the NFL makes a new rule requiring players to stand for the national anthem at games. 

In a tweet, Mathews told a News 4 producer that if a new rule is put in place, he will quit playing professional football.

Soon after publishing the tweet, Matthews deleted it.

On Friday, Matthews told News 4 he made a "bad decision" to send that tweet. When asked if he still stands by his statement, he said, "Not right now."

"Let's hope it doesn't get to that," Matthews added.

"That was an ignorant thing that I tweeted out at that given moment," he said.

This comes after NFL teams across the country began kneeling or staying in their locker rooms during the national anthem because of statements by President Donald Trump.

Trump has repeatedly criticized players and teams who kneel during the anthem to protest, saying that any players who refused to stand should be fired.

Earlier this month, the Seattle Seahawks and Titans stayed off the field during the anthem. This was the first Sunday after Trump made his comments. 

After the game, the Titans released this statement:

“As a team, we wanted to be unified in our actions today,” the players said in a statement posted on the Titans’ website. “The players jointly decided this was the best course of action. Our commitment to the military and our community is resolute and the absence of our team for the national anthem shouldn’t be misconstrued as unpatriotic.”

Since then, the controversy between Trump and NFL players have escalated tremendously. 

Since Trump tweeted about the NFL's plans, they have come out with a statement disputing the claim. 

In a letter to NFL team executives that was obtained by CNNMoney, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the league needs to "move past this controversy" and the dispute "is threatening to erode the unifying power of our game and is now dividing us, and our players, from many fans across the country."
 
Worried about how fans will react, and how that will impact ticket sales, the league is reportedly looking at the possibility of a new rule requiring players to appear and stand for the anthem. 

NFL players were not required to be on the sidelines during the national anthem for games prior to 2009.

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