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Titans Pro Bowler to continue protesting during national anthem, willing to accept any fine

The NFL’s national anthem controversy is far from over.

At least one player plans to continue protesting during the national anthem despite the NFL’s revised policy forbidding him from doing so.

Titans Pro Bowl defensive lineman Jurrell Casey, who raised his fist during the national anthem before every game last season, said he intends to continue his protest for the 2018 season, adding that the possibility of a fine will not dissuade him.

“I'm going to take a fine this year, why not?” Casey told CNN. “I'm going to protest during the flag. That's what I'm going to say now.”

The NFL’s new national anthem policy dictates team and league personnel must “stand and show respect for the flag and the anthem” or remain in the locker room. It’s not clear if raising a fist during the anthem constitutes disrespect.

Teams will be fined if a player violates this policy. That team then has the option to fine the protesting player as a result.

“It is what it is, I ain't going to let them stop me from doing what I want to do,” Casey told CNN. “If they want to have these battles between players and organizations, this is the way it's going to be.”

The entire Titans team remained in the locker room during the national anthem before their Week 3 game vs. the Seahawks following Donald Trump’s comments referring to any player who protests during the anthem as a “son of a bitch.”

The NFLPA filed a grievance with the league earlier this month, challenging the revised anthem policy. The NFLPA, which wasn't consulted before the owners vote on the rule change, claims the new anthem policy is “inconsistent with the collective bargaining agreement and infringes on player rights.”

League owners voted in May to revise the national anthem policy, which previously didn’t require team and league personnel to stand, following backlash from fans, advertisers and Donald Trump and the White House due to ongoing protests from players.

Casey added he has not told Titans coach Mike Vrabel or his teammates about his intentions to continue to protest during the national anthem. Casey, who has made the Pro Bowl in each of the last three seasons, signed a four-year, $60.4 million contract extension in 2017.

Casey reiterated the issue players have is not with the national anthem, but rather the social justice issues that still needs to be properly addressed.

“It's not necessarily about the anthem, that's where everybody's messing up,” Casey told CNN. “The way that the justice system treats minorities is the issue that we have.”

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