United States Team captain Steve Stricker made his point loud and clear ahead of the 2017 Presidents Cup — his team won’t protest during the national anthem.
The Presidents Cup, a biennial golf tournament pitting a U.S. Team against an International Team (comprised of non-European players), kicks off Thursday at Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, N.J.
“We’ve had a discussion already and none of my players want to do that,” Stricker said during a press conference Tuesday.
When asked to elaborate on the conversation he had with his players, Stricker said: “I just wanted to know what they wanted to do and how we wanted to proceed as a team. So we were going to do what we always do and that’s take off our hat and put our hands across our chest and over our heart and respect the flag. So that’s what we’re planning on doing.”
First begun by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick during the 2016 NFL season as a means to protest civil injustices in America, national anthem protests have grown across the country, particularly among NFL players.
Following comments made by President Donald Trump at a Sept. 22 rally in Alabama where he condemned players for kneeling, this past weekend saw an increase in anthem protests with players and owners standing arm-in-arm and/or kneeling together, some players raising their fists, and even teams, including the Pittsburgh Steelers, remaining in the locker room during the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner”.
The actions resulted in more tweets from the 45th President of the United States.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 25, 2017
The NFL has all sorts of rules and regulations. The only way out for them is to set a rule that you can't kneel during our National Anthem!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 26, 2017
National anthem protests aren’t just limited to the NFL. Oakland Athletics rookie catcher Bruce Maxwell kneeled during the national anthem prior to a game against the Texas Rangers on Sept. 23; becoming the first MLB player to do so.