Here’s what it looked like on the field in Chicago.
The national anthem just took place in Chicago prior to kickoff between the Bears and the Steelers.
As Mike Tomlin announced earlier today, Pittsburgh’s team decided to stay in the locker room while the Star Spangled Banner played.
Here’s what it looked like:
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) September 24, 2017
Mike Tomlin. No players behind him. pic.twitter.com/GYR0M4EyvR
— Eric Edholm (@Eric_Edholm) September 24, 2017
As promised, the Steelers players didn't come out onto the sidelines for today's National Anthem in Chicago pic.twitter.com/FHQdynKKaI
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) September 24, 2017
This was Mike Tomlin’s explanation for the decision:
“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 that I posted to our guys – if you feel the need to do anything, I’m going to be supportive of that, as Americans you have that right. But whatever we do, we’re going to do 100 percent, we’re going to do it together. We’re not going to let divisive times or divisive individuals affect our agenda. This collection of men, we’re chasing something in 2017, and we’re not going to play politics. The players, the coaches, we’re not participating in the anthem today. Not to be disrespectful to the anthem, but to remove us 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 teammate who chooses not to. So we’re not participating today. That’s our decision. We’re going to be 100 percent. We came here to play a football game,” Tomlin said.
The Bears and the Steelers are playing on CBS.