U.S. captain Steve Stricker says team won't stage silent protest

JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- United States captain Steve Stricker swiftly and succinctly refuted any suggestion that his team members might stage a silent protest when the national anthem is played before the Presidents Cup begins this week.

"We've had that discussion already," he said during a Tuesday news conference. "None of my players want to do that."

Prior to this weekend's NFL games, players knelt, sat and entire teams stayed in their respective locker rooms during the anthem.

Due to these protests, and the attention they've received, Stricker addressed the situation with his 12 team members and sought their input.

"I just wanted to know what they wanted to do and how we wanted to proceed as a team," he explained. "We are going to do what we always do, and that's take off our hat and put our hands across our chest and over our heart and respect the flag. So that's what we're planning on doing."

The national anthem will be played Thursday, before the first matches at Liberty National.

"I don't see it being a big issue next week with either team," U.S. team member Rickie Fowler told ESPN on Sunday. "I don't think there's ever going to be a situation where I don't recognize the national anthem. There's a lot that went into giving us the freedom. I'm not saying guys can't do that, that's their freedom of speech, they have the right to do that. For me, personally, being around [instructor] Butch [Harmon], someone who fought in Vietnam, the flag represents a lot. I'm going to pay respect to the people who gave us our rights and our freedom."

U.S. assistant captain Davis Love III echoed those sentiments in a Golf Channel interview.

"There's a time for us to protest, and it really isn't during the national anthem," Love said. "We ought to take a break during the prayer or during the national anthem to thank our country, to thank our forefathers that went before us. And then we can protest with our votes, with our letters to our congressmen or however we want."

Added U.S. team member Phil Mickelson: "We have social injustices in this country, and we should all strive to eliminate them. We've made great strides over the years, but we've got a ways to go, and we should all strive to eliminate those. But this week, I'm so proud to represent the United States, to play for my country, to play for my teammates and participate in this great event."