There were no protests during or after the national anthem before the Titans-Bucs game at Nissan Stadium on Saturday — not even from Jurrell Casey.
Instead, the Titans defensive tackle gave a salute at the end of the national anthem. A three-time Pro Bowl lineman, Casey had raised a fist after the playing of the national anthem before each game the past two seasons.
“I’ll be doing what I did last year and the year before that. Do what I did respectfully,” he said during training camp. “Show respect for the flag but I’m still going to protest at the end of it. It just is what it is.”
Live updates: Titans starters look for more game time against the Bucs
Players have protested racial inequality and police brutality during the national anthem for two seasons, since former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began sitting and then kneeling during the anthem during the 2016 preseason.
President Donald Trump has been vocal about players standing during the anthem, and the NFL passed a rule this offseason stipulating that players must stand and show respect for the flag and the anthem or remain out of public view in the locker room.
Despite the NFLs attempt to remove protests during the anthem, the players have already shown that they will continue using that platform this season
But the league hit pause on the policy last month after the Miami Dolphins submitted required paperwork to the NFL that included potential disciplinary measures for player protests during the anthem. In a joint statement, the NFL and NFL Players Association said they were working together on a resolution.
“That’s the biggest thing,” Casey said earlier in training camp. “As long as we can get in cahoots … where we don’t have to make it a battle between one or the other, that’s the best part about it. We’re doing things right now, talking and trying to see what’s the best solution for it.”
Reach Erik Bacharach at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @ErikBacharach.