CINCINNATI -- Tyler Eifert doesn’t want any questions about why he stands for the national anthem.
“As I stand for the national anthem, I don’t want there to be questions of why I am standing or if I will kneel,” the Bengals tight end explained in a blog post.
“I want there to be a clear understanding of why I stand. I want there to be a clear understanding of why I respect our flag and why I love our country.”
Eifert said he stands to honor those serving in the military because they have given him freedom to earn a living doing what he loves.
“I respect my fellow players(sic) right to kneel during the national anthem but I hope everyone now knows why I stand, and respects that as well,” Eifert said.
Eifert's post was a response to the yearlong protests of sorts by NFL players who choose to kneel, sit or raise fists during the singing of the national anthem. The movement was started by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in the wake of many high-profile fatal police shootings of unarmed and legally armed black men and boys.
In the NFL's opening weekend, players from the Oakland Raiders (Marshawn Lynch), LA Rams (Robert Quinn), Green Bay Packers (Martellus Bennett), Seattle Seahawks (Michael Bennett), the Kansas City Chiefs, the Philadelphia Eagles and the 49ers kneeled, sat and/or held fists in the air. The Cleveland Browns stood with local first responders during the anthem; the Texans and Jaguars -- both of whom's home states were devastated by flooding and hurricanes this month -- held a massive American flag over NGR Stadium.
All of the Bengals and opposing Baltimore Ravens stood for the anthem. To date, no Bengals have sat or kneeled during the National Anthem.
For the Bengals’ home opener, Eifert wore Pat Tillman’s name on his cleats, and he will write the name of someone serving in the U.S. military on his cleats for every game this season. Tillman left the NFL in 2002 and enlisted in the U.S. Army. He was killed in Afghanistan in 2004.