I understand why people are offended by people protesting the national anthem, Eagles wide receiver Torrey Smith said. My father served 25 years. When he dies, he’s going to be wrapped in an American flag. But my dad is also out of the Army, and he drives trucks all over the country, and he’s a black man everywhere he goes, and sometimes he has racial incidents still today. That doesn’t protect him, just because he served our country. And I think that’s important.
So what happens now? Was Sunday a flare-up of emotion and timing? Where does this all go now, while the players continue to care about what they care about while so many outside voices holler at them to just shut up and play football?
My hope would be that we can kind of keep ourselves away from it and kind of ignore it, center Eric Wood said Monday. But I don’t know that that’s realistic. Guys feel really passionate about this. Hopefully a lot of good can come out of it. I know a lot of guys are deeply upset, especially strong supporters of the country and the military. … I would hope it doesn’t just come at each side taking shots at each other. I don’t think it’s good for the game, I don’t think it’s good for the country. But realistically, more protests, more issues could come about from it.
McDermott was not aware Monday whether his team would demonstrate during the national anthem in Atlanta.
That’s really a question for them at this point, he said. We are focused on the Atlanta Falcons, and what’s going to happen this weekend is what’s going to happen. I don’t have a crystal ball, unfortunately. We got to make sure we’re focused on the task at hand, and that’s a football game and putting our best foot forward in Atlanta.
So what exactly happened? With 4:50 left in the game, Ball State took a 21-20 lead and was minutes from pulling the upset.