Buccaneers players respond to latest issues regarding national anthem

TAMPA (WFLA) – It is the $1 million question: Should professional athletes be forced to stand for the national anthem?

The NFL commissioner took a stand on the subject on Tuesday and now Gerald McCoy, a defensive tackle for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, is sharing his opinion on the matter.

McCoy told ESPN, although he is not kneeling, he expects an uproar because a change in the current policy would eliminate a constitutional right.

While McCoy did not speak with News Channel 8 in the locker room on Thursday, we spoke to his teammates including running back Doug Martin.

“It is definitely a big issue,” said Martin. “The injustices out there that are going on that is also a real issue, as well, and we will see what happens, we will see what happens.”

Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson, both wide receivers for the Buccaneers, knelt before the second game of the season.

We asked Martin if he would participate in the protest.

“We will see, we will see,” said Martin.

Donovan Smith, who is an offensive tackle, did not elaborate on the issue.

“It is what it is,” says Smith. “I do not have any [thoughts on it].”

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell sent a letter to all 32 teams on Tuesday stating he believes everyone should stand for the national anthem. He says a plan will be discussed at a league meeting in New York next week.

According to Goodell, the plan will include a platform to promote the work of the players on these issues.

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