The NFL has issued new rules seemingly banning protests during the national anthem, but one player is admirably planning to thumb his nose to the new regulations by continuing to protest on the field. 

Tennessee Titans defensive end and three-time pro-bowler Jurrell Casey is the first to take a stand, according to SB Nation

“I’m going to protest during the flag. That’s what I’m going to say now,” Casey told CNN during a promotional event in London.

“I’m going to take a fine this year, why not?” he added.

In May, the NFL announced new rules and guidelines instructing players on how to protest if they choose to. Players must stand for the national anthem or face fines from the league and team.

Further punishment could also include a penalty during the game that could jeopardize their team's chances of winning. If a player wants to protest, they must stay in the locker room away from fans. 

The strict guidelines were implemented in response to former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick's 2016 protest calling for more attention to injustices affecting black and brown people in the country.

Kaepernick's protest spread like wildfire, dominating national headlines and making its way across sports on high school and college levels.

For over two years, the league has blackballed him, and the Right, along with President Donald Trump, has attacked him. During a campaign rally for defeated senatorial candidate Roy Moore in 2017, Trump called protesting players "sons of b***hes."

Like Kaepernick, Casey has dedicated his life as a player to humanitarian work. Last season, he stood on the sideline with a fist raised high in solidarity with Kaep.

"There is always going to be blowback, that is what America is about. They always like to go on social media and go hard," Casey added. "It is what it is, at the end of the day, I don’t pay no mind to it. I’m going to do what I do that’s going to bring light to my community. At the end of the day, we got to do a job. But I will continue to use my platform to keep on speaking up.”

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