Meghan Linsey made a bold statement by kneeling at the end of her national anthem performance prior to Sunday’s (Sept. 24) NFL game in Tennessee between the Titans and Seattle Seahawks, but her brave action came with some serious nerves.
“I was absolutely terrified walking out there,” the country singer — who is best known for competing on Season 8 of The Voice — told Yahoo!. “I knew what I was getting ready to do, and I understood what it meant. Obviously, I made a name for myself in country music, and I knew what the backlash would be. So I walked out there scared. But I have to go into my gut and my heart, and I knew that was the right thing to do today.”
What made the moment all the more nerve-wracking for Linsey was that both the Titans and Seahawks chose to remain in their respective locker rooms for the national anthem, which left her and her guitarist, Tyler Cain, alone on the field. “That made it a little scarier,” she said. “But it was obviously just meant to be that I was there in this moment, and given this opportunity.”
Both the Titans & Seahawks remained in their locker rooms during the national anthem while the singer took a knee during her performance. pic.twitter.com/zeBQhYbKPN
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) September 24, 2017
“I couldn’t have gone out there and not done anything and felt good about it, because I have always built this platform on empowerment and loving people — whatever color, whatever sexual orientation,” she continued. “And it was like: Of all the days that I would sing the anthem! It put me in a weird spot. You’re making a choice when you walk out there, however you handle it. If you don’t take a knee, it’s like: what do you stand for? For me, anything else wasn’t an option.”
While she realized the timing of her anthem slot was important, she admitted that she hadn’t thought much about the take-a-knee protests until she was in the heart of it. Moreover, president Trump’s comments on the matter made her really think about the position she was in.
“I thought, ‘Man, it really does need to be addressed, and I think I’m in a position to take a stand and hopefully make a difference.’ I have a lot of African-American friends, and they can’t stand alone. I love America. I’m not unpatriotic. I appreciate our men and women in uniform. That’s not the issue. I think the issue is the things that are happening around us with racism, and Trump will come out and openly condemn NFL players for peacefully protesting, but then these white national terrorists bring their tiki torches and cause this violence, and then he has nothing to say. It was important to me to stand with [African-Americans].
Linsey also spoke out about her decision on Twitter on Monday (Sept. 25).
— Meghan Linsey (@meghanlinsey) September 25, 2017
Despite how scary it may have been for Linsey to make such a statement with her national anthem performance, she’s received supportive comments, including fellow singer Aloe Blacc.
— Aloe Blacc (@aloeblacc) September 25, 2017