PITTSBURGH STEELERS coach Mike Tomlin has revealed his team will SNUB the national anthem and stay in the locker room instead.
Tomlin’s side take on the Chicago Bears on Sunday evening and will stand with the rest of the NFL world in their decision.
Earlier on Sunday, at Wembley, 27 members of the Jacksonville Jaguars and Baltimore Ravens opted to take a knee during the national anthem.
The stunt was in reference to US president Donald Trump, who sparked outrage this weekend when he ordered NFL players to be fired if they knelt during the rendition.
Trump said: “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a b***h off the field right now… he is fired’.”
However, the NFL world thus far has defied their president, with Steelers coach Tomlin saying: “You know, these are very divisive times for our country.
“For us as a football team, it’s about us remaining solid. We’re not going to be divided by anything said by anyone.
“That’s the thing I posted to our guys, I said, ‘If you feel the need to do anything, I’m going to be supportive of that. As Americans you have that right.’
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“But whatever we do we are 100 per cent going to do together.
“We’re not going to let divisive times or divisive individuals affect our agenda.
“This collection of men, we’re chasing something here and we’re not going to play politics.
“We’re football players, we’re football coaches and we are NOT participating in the anthem today.
“Not to be disrespectful to the anthem but to remove ourselves from this circumstance.
“People shouldn’t have to choose… if a guy wants to go about his normal business and participate in the anthem, he shouldn’t be forced to choose sides.
“If a guy feels the need to do something, he shouldn’t be separated from his team-mate who chooses not to.
“So we are not participating today… that is our decision.”
Trump’s comments refer to a string of protests by NFL players to highlight racial injustice and police brutality in America.
The movement was started by Colin Kaepernick during a pre-season game for the San Francisco 49ers before the 2016 campaign and has gathered pace across the league.
Elsewhere, NBA stars Stephen Curry and LeBron James have had their say on the situation, hitting out at Trump in the process.