Unlike on most Sundays in the middle of September, many people did not tune into NFL football on Sept. 24 just to check out their favorite team or to see who would run in for the most touchdowns. Instead, they tuned in to see who would be sitting down, or rather kneeling down, during the national anthem.
It all started on Sept. 22 when President Donald Trump spoke at a rally in Alabama and called for the firing of NFL players who refuse to stand for the national anthem. From there, a Twitter backlash spread quickly, and even some NFL team owners spoke out against Trump’s statement. By Sunday, many NFL players had planned various types of protests during the Sept. 24 games, including locking arms with teammates, taking a knee or even staying in the locker room during the singing of the national anthem, as all but one of the Pittsburgh Steelers did.
One such protest involved country starlet and former “The Voice” contestant Meghan Linsey, who was set to sing the national anthem before the Tennessee Titans game in Nashville. At the conclusion of her performance, Meghan made the decision to take a knee alongside her guitarist — drawing boos from audience members and both derision and praise from various Twitter users, according to reports.
Prior to appearing on “The Voice” in 2015, Meghan was half of the country music duo Steel Magnolia, which scored the top 5 hit “Keep On Lovin’ You” in 2009. That duo got its start on another reality TV show, winning the second season of CMT’s “Can You Duet,” also in 2009.
Many people weren’t happy with Meghan’s gesture at the Titans game, with one calling her a “loser” and another suggesting she has a “very black heart.”
And while country singer Craig Campbell didn’t specifically remark on Meghan’s actions, he did have praise for one central figure in the Sunday night anthem flap. “I will stand with you Villanueva … any and every time,” Craig wrote about Alejandro Villanueva, a former Army Ranger and the only Pittsburgh Steelers player who came out for the anthem when his teammates did not.
It makes you wonder what will happen next week.
This post was originally published on September 25, 2017.