Panthers cornerback Captain Munnerlyn appreciated the displays of solidarity he saw during the national anthems before a couple of preseason games this week.
But Munnerlyn said he’s not ready to join the protest movement.
All the Panthers players stood during the anthem before Tennessee’ 34-27 victory Saturday at Nissan Stadium.
Munnerlyn said he and some of his teammates have discussed the stances that other players have taken elsewhere. In Seattle on Friday night, Seahawks center Justin Britt put his hand on the shoulder of teammate Michael Bennett, who told reporters he plans to sit during the anthem throughout the season in protest of social injustice.
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In Philadelphia, Eagles defensive end Chris Long put his arm around Malcolm Jenkins, who raised his fist during the anthem as he’s done previously.
“That definitely was a cool situation, letting you know the brotherhood is there,” Munnerlyn said. “They care. We care, too, as a team. Don’t get me wrong. We definitely care. But my point of view is there are a lot of folks that fought for our rights.”
Munnerlyn said he and his teammates aren’t blind to social and racial tensions, especially the headlines of the last few months. But he doesn’t believe sitting during the anthem is the answer.
“We know what’s going on in this world. There’s a lot of sad situations. Some people, we talk about it. But at the same time we just stand for our national anthem,” Munnerlyn said.
“There’s a lot of people in the military that’s fought for our rights for that, fought for a lot of things. With the things that are going on in the world, we just can’t disrespect them,” he added. “That’s how I feel about the situation. It would be disrespecting the people who really fought hard for this country.”