Steelers coach Mike Tomlin reserves comment on anthem protests, Charlottesville
During his third and final news conference of the 2017 training camp on the Steelers' final day at St. Vincent College, coach Mike Tomlin discussed Sunday's preseason game, his players' health and some depth chart-related issues.
One topic he would not discuss? The handful of players across the league who are staging protests during the playing of the national anthem before games.
Asked if he has or will address the issue to his team, Tomlin gave a succinct answer: “I won't.”
Pressed on his reaction to the protests, Tomlin said, “I have no reaction. You know, a lot of people have personal opinions, and it's just that — it's personal opinions. If I don't think mine adds any value to the discussion, I will keep it to myself and not add it to the fray.”
A few minutes later and more than midway through his 11-minute remarks, Tomlin was asked one more time, this time specifically about how the events in Charlottesville, Va., last weekend affected him personally, Tomlin said: “Again, I've got no comment.”
Throughout last season, no Steelers were known to have sat, kneeled, raised a fist or showed any other sort of protest during the playing of the pregame anthem. It was during the preseason last year that then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick became the first known player to sit during the anthem.
Kaepernick said he was doing it to protest the treatment of minorities and police brutality. A handful of players leaguewide staged similar silent protests throughout the season.