HOUSTON (CBS Charlotte) – Carolina Panthers tight end Jeremy Shockey took exception to how the Houston Texans observed the national anthem, saying the Texans were disrespectful to both the American flag and the country.
The Panthers’ 28-13 win Sunday against playoff-bound Houston was overshadowed by Shockey’s comments concerning the Texans’ lack of regard for how to observe the American flag before the game. After catching a touchdown in the third quarter, Shockey began to scream at the Texans for what he saw as blatant disrespect earlier on.
“I was pretty upset when they weren’t showing respect to America during the national anthem,” Shockey said after the game. “There were about 10 players who didn’t put their arms across their chest. This is America. They should at least give respect to America.
“I haven’t seen it anywhere else in the NFL, but I don’t know how you forget to do something like that.”
Later, Shockey’s would tweet, “GOD bless America,” shortly after Sunday’s game. He would take to Twitter some more, retweeting fans who had expressed their gratitude for Shockey calling out the Texans.
But the Texans, who are bound for their first playoff appearance in franchise history, fired back at the outspoken tight end.
“If he’s so patriotic, why was he looking at our bench instead of the flag?” Texans linebacker DeMeco Ryans said, according to the Houston Chronicle. “Where did he come up with the number 10? Was he counting? Why was he paying attention to us during the national anthem?”
Ryans added: “Of course, our players are patriotic. We respect the flag and America and our soldiers that are fighting for our freedom.”
Showing patriotism has never been a problem for Shockey. The 10-year pro sports a giant American flag tattoo that stretches down to elbow.
“It speaks for itself,” he said to Sports Illustrated in October of 2005. “I’m proud to live in this country, to have the right to express anything you want…I’m very American.”
Shockey would take to Twitter again, trying to ease his allegations against the Texans.
“My words were not to offend Anyone, football is just a sport and America is home,” he tweeted.