Baltimore Ravens National Anthem singer Joey Odoms resigned his position Tuesday – two days after hundreds of NFL players protested the National Anthem by kneeling down while it was being played.
Several of those players were on the Ravens team. Odoms was apparently offended at the reaction of the fans who booed the players.
Odoms is a member of the Maryland National Guard and served in Afghanistan. He announced his decision in a Facebook and Instagram post.
“Dear Ravens Flock,” he wrote. “I am resigning as Official National Anthem Singer of the Baltimore Ravens. The people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting at the Ravens organization have been nothing but nice to me, however, the tone/actions of a large number of NFL fans in the midst of our country’s cultural crisis have convinced me that I do not belong there,” Odoms wrote. “Someone once told me to always ‘go where you’re welcomed.’ This is not an emotional reaction to recent events, rather an ethical decision that part of me regrets but my core knows is the right choice.”
Odoms ended his post by thanking the fans – but we guess not the ones who booed.
“Thank you so much for the opportunity to grow as a performer and for allowing me to live out a dream of sharing my gift with you,” he wrote.
Reacting to Odoms’ resignation, Kevin Byrne, a Ravens’ spokesman said they “greatly appreciate the work Joey did for us and we thank him,” Fox News reports.
Sunday began with members of the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Baltimore Ravens either taking a knee or locking arms as the U.S. national anthem was sung at London’s Wembley Stadium. Those who were not kneeling, including the coaches on both teams and Jaguars owner Shahid Khan, locked arms during the national anthem. The players then stood up for “God Save the Queen,” the British anthem.
Odoms later added another post to his Instagram account to clarify his initial post: “Fans who attack players for protesting, (a right in which I fought to defend) but are simply not interested in understanding why, is the reason I am resigning.”
A member of the Maryland Army National guard, Odoms succeeded longtime Ravens’ anthem Mishael Miller, who relocated to Alabama after the 2013 season.
Odoms, a songwriter and former 911 operator who grew up in Reservoir Hill, beat out eight other finalists for the job of singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” before Ravens home games.
He initially expressed interest in the job directly to Ravens coach John Harbaugh. The two met when Harbaugh was visiting the base Odoms was stationed on in Afghanistan in February 2013.
Odoms concluded his original post by thanking fans “for the opportunity to grow as a performer and for allowing me to live out a dream of sharing my gift with you.”
What do you think? Was Odoms right to resign if he felt that the players shouldn’t be booed? Does it matter if he is a decorate combat veteran? Sound off below and let us know what you think!
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Dear NFL: We will not support millionaire ingrates who hate America and disrespect our Armed Forces and Veterans. Who wins a football game has ZERO impact on our lives. Who fights for and defends our nation has every impact on our lives. We stand with the Heroes, not a bunch of rich, entitled, arrogant, ungrateful, anti-American, degenerates. Signed, we the people.