Mike Tomlin tight-lipped on anthem protests, Charlottesville
Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was asked during a Friday press conference if he has any plans to discuss with his players the national anthem protests occurring around the NFL.
“I won’t,” Tomlin succinctly stated.
Tomlin was later asked for his reaction to the events last weekend in Charlottesville, Va., where a rally led by white nationalists, white supremacists and neo-Nazis devolved into violence.
The tense situation turned tragic when one person was killed and 19 others injured when James Alex Fields Jr. plowed through a group of counter-protesters. Two Virginia State Troopers also died in helicopter crash while monitoring the situation.
The outbreak of violence and nature of the situation has turned into a new rallying cry for NFL players who are opting to protest the anthem before games.
Tomlin made it abundantly clear he wasn’t interested in expressing his personal opinions on the matter.
“I have no reaction,” Tomlin said. “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.”
Asked minutes later how the Charlottesville incidents impacted him personally, Tomlin remained tight-lipped.
“Again, I’ve got no comment,” he said.
It’s unclear from his comments if Tomlin would prefer his players to avoid anthem protests, whatever the nature. The Steelers, after all, did not have one player stage any kind of protest during the anthem last season.
How Tomlin truly feels about these issues notwithstanding, one thing is certain: He’s not about to discuss with the media.