Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive lineman Gerald McCoy, speaking on Adam Schefter's Know Them From Adam podcast, said he thinks there might "be an uproar" if NFL players are forced to stand for the national anthem.
"I don't think guys are gonna like it," McCoy said, when asked about the possible reaction from players. "I think it's gonna be an uproar if that is to happen because you're basically taking away a constitutional right to freedom of speech. If guys wanna have a, I guess you would call it a peaceful protest, I don't think it's right to take that away."
McCoy, an eight-year veteran and one of the Bucs' defensive captains, said he does not plan on kneeling during the anthem.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell made it clear in a letter sent Tuesday to all 32 teams that he wants players to stand during the anthem. He did not provide specifics about how he intends to ensure it, but he wrote that it would "include such elements as an in-season platform to promote the work of our players on these core issues."
The issue will be discussed during the NFL's regularly scheduled fall meetings in New York next week.