Jessie James Decker says NFL husband was tricked into national anthem protest

Country star Jessie James Decker is being criticized for defending her NFL husband, who she says unknowingly participated in a national anthem demonstration.

Jessie James Decker insists her NFL husband was tricked into a National Anthem demonstration. (Photo: Facebook/Jessie James Decker)

Before a Sunday game between the Tennessee Titans (for which Jessie’s husband, Eric, is a wide receiver) and the Seattle Seahawks, both teams remained in their respective locker rooms during the national anthem. On Monday, Jessie told TMZ, “My husband was not made aware it was time to go out for the game. Unfortunately a decision was made for him without him knowing.”

The 29-year-old mother of two also posted a Facebook video of herself belting out “The Star-Spangled Banner” at a Sept. 10 football game in Nashville between the Titans and the Oakland Raiders.

Jessie wrote, “One of my favorite things to do is sing the national anthem. I think about my dad, my uncles, my cousins, both grandfathers who fought in the Vietnam war. I think about how my grandfather paw paw Tim would ask me to sing this song for him every time I saw him and how he would make me turn the other way to sing it so he could just weep and cry as hard as he wanted because it meant so much to him. When I sing this song I think about them. This song is about them. It’s not about me. That’s what I think about every time I sing it. I love our country so much. And we should all love and respect each other because this is the greatest country in the world. I see the love. I see the unity in all walks of life on a daily basis and It makes me so proud to be an American….. so In the words of Forrest Gump. That’s all I have to say about that.”


One of my favorite things to do is sing the national anthem. I think about my dad, my uncles, my cousins, both grandfathers who fought in the Vietnam war. I think about how my grandfather paw paw Tim would ask me to sing this song for him every time I saw him and how he would make me turn the other way to sing it so he could just weep and cry as hard as he wanted because it meant so much to him. When I sing this song I think about them. This song is about them. It's not about me. That's what I think about every time I sing it. I love our country so much. And we should all love and respect each other because this is the greatest country in the world. I see the love. I see the unity in all walks of life on a daily basis and It makes me so proud to be an American….. so In the words of Forrest Gump. That's all I have to say about that.

Posted by Jessie James Decker on Monday, September 25, 2017

The message triggered debate on Facebook.

“You’re also blessed enough to thankfully not have to go through the oppression some others have to daily,” wrote one woman. “Sometimes you have to grow to learn about others and their struggles. Not everything is about our personal life.”

“I’m such a huge fan of yours, but this was a rambling, unnecessary post,” wrote another. “Of course you’ve had different experiences than these men, but that doesn’t negate theirs. You have several platforms to promote your agenda — let other people use theirs in a peaceful way as well. THAT is what your grandfathers fought for.”

Jessie’s defenders added, “She has a right to express her feelings on her page,” and “Thank you for showing decency and respect to our flag and what it truly represents!”



On Sunday, the Seahawks released a statement on Twitter: “As a team, we have decided we will not participate in the national anthem. We will not stand for the injustice that has plagued people of color in this country. Out of love for our country and in honor of the sacrifices made on our behalf, we unite to oppose those that would deny our most basic freedoms. We remain committed in continuing to work towards equality and justice for all.”


After the game, cornerback Richard Sherman told reporters that the team wanted to avoid ostracizing anyone who chose to kneel during the anthem. “That’s the worst thing you can do as a teammate is put your teammate in an uncomfortable position. We don’t go out, the whole team doesn’t come out, then it’s easier for them to defend themselves. Say, ‘Hey, it’s a team decision. I just did what the team did.’”

The Titans also shared a statement on their website: “As a team, we wanted to be unified in our actions today. The players jointly decided this was the best course of action. Our commitment to the military and our community is resolute and the absence of our team for the national anthem shouldn’t be misconstrued as unpatriotic.”

The demonstrations were the latest effort by NFL teams to unite against President Trump’s criticism by kneeling during the national anthem, a gesture the president tweeted was “not acceptable.”


However, despite a statement of support by Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk one day before the game, Jessie maintains that Eric wasn’t aware of the team’s plan. According to People, in response to a fan’s Instagram comment, Jessie wrote, “If he had known he would have been out there hand over heart. Unfortunately, he wasn’t made aware it was time to head to the field as they always do every game.”

Eric’s only comment on the matter so far? “Preach baby,” he wrote on Instagram in response to his wife.

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