Apparently the people who want Lions linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin to show his respect for the national anthem have no respect for his health.
Reeves-Maybin is one of the two Lions who has continued to kneel during the anthem, even after owner Martha Firestone Ford offered to make donations to charities on the players’ behalf if they stood.
But the 22-year-old linebacker was taken aback by the reaction to his protest of racial inequality.
“People are saying, like, ‘I hope you get CTE,'” Reeves-Maybin said, via Kyle Meinke of Mlive.com. “Or, ‘I hope you can’t play with your kids when you get done playing,’ Stuff like that. But, yeah. It doesn’t bother me.”
The rookie said he’s also heard a barrage of racial epithets, including the N-word in stadiums.
But that hasn’t kept him from making his feelings known. Eight Lions knelt two weeks ago after President Donald Trump’s remarks that any “son of a bitch” who did so should be fired. When Firestone offered to buy her players’ attention, all but Reeves-Maybin and linebacker Steve Longa stood with arms linked.
“I feel like the right thing for me to do is kneel,” Reeves-Maybin said. “I really don’t like the state of social inequalities and justices that go on here. I didn’t want it to be about what President Trump said, and I felt like at the time, the week when you saw all the demonstrations, I feel like it more so made it about that and that’s not the idea of what it should have been.”
He said no one in the organization has said anything to him about his decision, but he has been overwhelmed by the response on social media. Which is disappointing, but probably #asexpected.