Pittsburgh, Jun 23 – Mike Tomlin, head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, said Tuesday that like the team’s organization, players who choose to do so will be allowed to kneel during the national anthem.
Through a video conference, Tomlin said he supports players in any statement or action they wish to take “as long as it is done carefully and with class.”
The coach’s remarks are the first he has made since the death of black man George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody and the subsequent widespread protests for justice and racial equality.
“We spent a lot of time as a group talking about the current issues, about the platform they have and how to best use it and how to do it carefully,” said Tomlin.
He added that “our position is simple: we are going to support our players and their willingness to participate in this, be they statements or actions.”
Although many athletes and professional sports teams are being scrutinized for their actions, or lack thereof, in the wake of the protests, Tomlin is not focusing on any league-wide initiative to use a large platform.
“I really focus my energies on serving the players I lead and making sure they get the support they need regarding the current circumstances,” he said.