After performing the national anthem at Sunday afternoon’s Tennesse Titans game, former Voice contestant Meghan Linsey and guitarist, Tyler Cain, knelt down, joining in solidarity with football players across the country. Despite making a gesture that could cause backlash within the country community, Linsey made the bold move, following her heart. She spoke to Yahoo about the decision to take a knee.
“I was absolutely terrified walking out there. 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.”
The singer took a knee, despite being along on the field, as the teams remained in their locker rooms during the anthem. “That made it a little more scarier, I guess, that nobody was out there doing it with me,” Linsey told Yahoo. “And I hadn’t planned for this. But it was obviously just meant to be that I was there in this moment, and given this opportunity.”
“Until yesterday, I didn’t even think about it that much,” she revealed Sunday evening. “Then I was thinking about the things that [the president] said yesterday, and 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].
“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. 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.”
The singer’s decision has garnered mixed opinions, some blasting her and others praising her.