Bucs' Gerald McCoy says 'It's going to be an uproar' if players are forced to stand

Posted at 2:53 PM, Oct 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-11 18:35:19-04

Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive lineman Gerald McCoy told ESPN he thinks there could be an "uproar" if NFL players are required to stand for the national anthem.

"I don't think guys are gonna like it," McCoy told Adam Schefter. "I think it's gonna be an uproar if that is to happen because you're basically taking away a constitutional right to freedom of speech. If guys wanna have a, I guess you would call it a peaceful protest, I don't think it's right to take that away."

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While McCoy has not himself knelt during the national anthem, he previously said "no man-- President or otherwise-- will dictate my actions."

Commissioner Roger Goodell sent a league-wide memo Tuesday saying he wants players to stand during the anthem.

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President Trump tweeted in response Wednesday morning voicing his support for a demand that all players stand during the anthem.


"I had two teammates who did it, in Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson," McCoy told ESPN. That's their right to do that, and if they're gonna do it, they're gonna have support of the whole team. But if you take that away from them, there's gonna be an uproar. It's just gonna happen, because now it's just like you have a voice at one point, but then you don't at this point. And, that's our right ... it's a constitutional right that we have, and if you take that away, I don't think people are gonna take too kindly to it."

The Bucs play the Arizona Cardinals Sunday and as of Wednesday, the team has not released any specific rule or policy about the national anthem.