PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Steeler defensive end, Stephon Tuitt tweeted Tuesday, July 27, that he will not be kneeling during the national anthem, despite the team captain’s proposal.
The five-year Steeler veteran made this announcement in a series of tweets on July 27, the last tweet, being the tweet that garnered the most attention from fans and media alike.
“Also, I’m not kneeling for the flag and screw anybody who has a problem with that. My grandmother was an immigrant from the Caribbean, and age worked her ass off to bring 20 people over the right way. She had no money and educated herself to be a nurse. She is living good now.” Tuitt tweeted.
Tuitt elaborated his point on Friday in an Instagram post, saying, “I stand with the flag because I am proud to be an American. As previously stated, this country has provided and rewarded my family in so many ways through our perseverance and hard work.”
On June 18, Steeler captain, Cam Heyward, stated the Steelers would kneel as “a united front” if other players decided to protest.
Cam Heyward disagrees
Tuitt’s opposition towards kneeling, conflicts with Heywood’s proposal of the Steelers kneeling together as a team.
“For us, we’re going to have those opportunities to branch out and be individuals and affect our community,” Heyward stated during an interview with reporters from KDKA Pittsburgh.
The 31-year-old captain has been with the Steelers for nine years. Currently married to Allie Heyward with three children, Heyward states that “These issues hit home way more because my family is going to have to deal with it for the rest of their lives.”
Local fans speak their minds fans
Tuitt’s tweet on Tuesday had local fan opinion mixed on the matter.
Due to his statements, Tuitt has seen a spike in popularity among some Steeler fans.
One fan wrote, “Ordering a Tuitt jersey immediately,” and another fan wrote “Kneeling for the flag is disrespectful, thank you”
Other fans, however, disagree with Tuitt’s position, but respect his decision to do what he feels is right.
“I believe Steph should do what he thinks is right. No one should force him to kneel with the team if he thinks it’s wrong. However, I think of all people, he should understand the type of injustices that his family and other people of color face every day.” Teresa Stiplovits of Elizabeth, Pennsylvania told TGH on Thursday.
Tuitt added he would support the black lives matter movement and issues regarding police brutality by other means in his Instagram post the next day.
The Steelers will play the Giants at MetLife Stadium on September 20.
“From Our Haus to Yours “