NFL player Delanie Walker said he has received death threats since waving goodbye to fans who don’t like the Tennessee Titans protest during the National Anthem.
Walker, a Titans tight end, posted a photo on Instagram revealing the violent threats and reaffirming his support for the U.S. military, whose troops he visited in the Middle East during a USO trip, reported Pro Football Talk.
“The death threats that my family and I have received since my comments are heartbreaking,” he wrote. “The racist and violent words directed at me and my son only serve as another reminder that our country remains divided and full of hateful rhetoric. These words of hate will only fuel me in my efforts to continue my work reaching out to different community groups, listening to opposing voices, and honoring the men and women in the Armed Forces who risk their lives every day so that we may have this dialogue.”
Walker angered football fans he believes are willfully misunderstanding player protests of racial inequality by reminding them they’re free to turn off NFL games.
“I support the troops,” Walker told the Tennesseean. “This is not about that. It’s about equal rights, and that’s all everyone is trying to show, is that we all care about each other.”
The player said he wasn’t troubled that angry fans were threatening to boycott NFL games: “OK, bye.”
Walker said his USO visits had strengthened his resolve to fight racial inequality in the U.S.
“I am proud to represent the many faces of Titans fans and believe that only through a more respectful discourse can we achieves the goals of unity, peace and racial equality that I know we all strive for,” he said.
The Titans elected to stay in the locker room Sunday during the anthem as the majority after President Donald Trump personally attacked Colin Kaepernick and other NFL players protesting during the National Anthem.
The team has received death threats from angry fans on its social media accounts, and singer Meghan Linsey has also been threatened after she took a knee after singing “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
“I’ve been waking up with anxiety a lot, and it’s hard to eat food and sleep, but other than that, I’m good,” Linsey said. “I feel like I did the right thing. I don’t have any regrets.”