While hundreds of NFL players are kneeling for the National Anthem, hundreds of professional bull riders are keeping their vow to always stand.
Last year, PBR bull fighter Shorty Gorham asked every rider in the organization to sign a pledge promising to stand for the National Anthem before each PBR event. Every single rider, regardless of nationality, voluntarily signed it.
WE STAND UNITED
We are professional bull riders and bull fighters representing six
countries competing on PBR’s largest stage.
We respect the right of all citizens to engage in peaceful protest. It is a
fundamental freedom that makes America one of the greatest countries
in the world.
For us the choice is clear, WE choose to stand united and without
protest during the national anthem of the country in which we are
We stand to honor all men and women whose sacrifice and commitment
ensures these freedoms, helps unite the nation, and propels America
"Anyone familiar with the sport knows that honoring those who protect and advance our great nation is not a new sentiment among the athletes, stock contractors and others involved. It is in their DNA: the roots of our sport and the cowboy heritage run deep and are woven into the fabric of our country. For twenty three years, PBR athletes have celebrated a genuine love and appreciation of America – including extended members of our bull riding family from Brazil, Australia, Canada, Mexico and New Zealand," PBR CEO Sean Gleason wrote in a letter last year. "PBR Stands United when it comes to presenting our flag and singing our national anthem. Every athlete who is present during our openings on the arena floor has unanimously, willingly and passionately made this choice. We, as an organization, support their decision."
"I would like to personally thank Shorty for his efforts to confirm the respect that PBR
athletes have for America, the flag and our national anthem," Gleason continued.
PBR is the second most watched sport on television behind the NFL.