Titans wide receiver Rishard Matthews won’t actually quit if NFL owners make a rule requiring players to stand for the national anthem as he threatened in a tweet earlier this week. But he also vows to continue his stand, so to speak, against oppression and social injustice.
“Not right now,” Matthews said, via Paul Kuharsky of paulkuharsky.com, when asked if he was serious about retiring. “Let’s hope it doesn’t get to that. I know the owners have got a meeting next weekend, so hopefully it won’t get to that.
“Sometimes people, as you all know, tweet some ignorant things out at some moments, and that was an ignorant thing I tweeted out at that given moment. I take full responsibility. That’s why it went down [was deleted], but somebody caught me with a screen shot.”
On Thursday, Matthews tweeted, “I would be done playing football,” when asked how he would react to the NFL enacting a national anthem rule.
Matthews reconsidered his threat, and a day later, called his tweet a mistake.
“I’m a man, and sometimes you make bad decisions at the wrong time,” Matthews said. “And at that time, I made a bad decision to tweet that out at that given moment.”
Matthews has stayed in the locker room during the national anthem since President Donald Trump’s criticism of NFL players’ protests last month. Matthews has become one of the more outspoken players about the protests, and announced Sept. 28 he was donating $75,000 to a group of “organizations working in oppressed communities.”
The receiver explained he didn’t want his protest seen as a “publicity stunt.”
“It’s not difficult at all,” Matthews said. “This whole situation, I’ve been telling people that it’s right in front of people’s eyes, but they refuse to be real about it. But it’s not affecting me and my life at all. But I’m just somebody that believes strongly in doing what’s right.
“It’s frustrating, but what can you do? But that’s why we’re so thankful to be living in this country. You’re entitled to your opinion without having any consequences, and it is what it is.”