In an interview on ESPN NFL Reporter Adam Schefter’s podcast, Know Them From Adam, Buccaneers defensive lineman Gerald McCoy laid out what he believes will be the reaction of the players, if the NFL tells them that they must stand for the anthem.
“I don’t think guys are gonna like it,” McCoy said, when asked about the possible reaction from players. “I think it’s gonna be an uproar if that is to happen because you’re basically taking away a constitutional right to freedom of speech. If guys wanna have a, I guess you would call it a peaceful protest, I don’t think it’s right to take that away.”
McCoy, an eight-year veteran and one of the Bucs’ defensive captains, said he does not plan on kneeling during the anthem.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell made it clear in a letter sent Tuesday to all 32 teams that he wants players to stand during the anthem. He did not provide specifics about how he intends to ensure it, but he wrote that it would “include such elements as an in-season platform to promote the work of our players on these core issues.”