The anthem controversy has died down in recent days, but it will linger for as long as any players choose to sit or kneel. Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters still chooses to sit. On Friday, he chose to talk about it. However, he ultimately chose to conceal why he does it.
“Nobody’s gotta know my reason why I sit,” Peters said, via Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star. “Nobody’s gotta know the reason why somebody chooses the religion they choose. Nobody’s gotta know why I eat cereal instead of eating oatmeal in the morning.”
Peters simply wants no part of the broader debate regarding whether it’s appropriate for American citizens to exercise American freedoms by not standing during the American national anthem.
“I ain’t trying to get into a back and forth conversation of me trying to prove that I’m not being disrespectful or that I am being disrespectful toward the American flag,” Peters said. “Man . . . come on, man. I’m an American, bruh. I’m an African-American that was born in this wonderful country that we all can live in. How about we start all protecting each [expletive] other and come together, you feel me? It will be better for it. . . .
“I’m just getting tired,” Peters said. “We need to talk about something new. If y’all wanna to talk about the protest, man, give my man Colin Kaepernick a call. And he’ll tell you straight up. Because nobody’s hollered at him and asked him.”
That’s the closest Peters came to confirming that he sits for the same reasons Kaepernick initially sat and then opted to kneel — to bring attention to police brutality and misconduct when interacting with African-Americans and people of color. Peters nevertheless realizes that his actions will prompt strangers to interact with him in an aggressive way, especially on social media.
“That [expletive] crazy, huh?” Peters said. “Yeah, I look at [social media] because I’ve got Twitter, I’ve got Instagram. I’m gonna look at it. But I’m at the house, bruh. I’m chilling with my son. That [expletive] don’t bother me . . . those people ain’t in my house; those people don’t have anything to do with how I live my day-to-day life.”
Ultimately, his family knows what he does what he does, which lets him handle the criticism.
“They know what’s up — that’s why there’s no issue,” Peters said. “[People are] gonna display their opinion about how they think a [expletive] should be handling their business or something, you feel me?
“But you can’t judge anybody until you know what people have been through or what people are going through. . . . I’ve got to worry about the community I’m living in; I’ve got to worry about a whole lot of other things, too, that affect my life and others around me. It’s a lot.”
One thing is clear: For the players who choose to sit or kneel, it definitely would be easier for them to just stand up and be done with it. But until the NFL provides them have an effective way to send their message separate and apart from the anthem, they’ll have to decide whether to use the anthem to express their concerns in a way that, regardless of how anyone feels about the situation, definitely has brought attention to issues.